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at jhttp : //books . qooqle . com/ 

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The progress of Russia in Asia, her rapid strides in the 
direction of India, and the acquisition from China of pro- 
vinces far exceeding the British Islands in extent, cannot 
fail of being important to a nation with such vast interests at 
stake in China and the East as England has. In presenting 
therefore a work on Russian advance on the Amur, within 
the confines of the Celestial Empire, we feel that we are laying 
before the public a subject well worthy of their attention. 
It has been our endeavour to convey a correct idea of the 
past and present condition of the countries we treat of, their 
productions, inhabitants, and germs of future development, — 
information of value not only to the geographer, politician, 
or merchant, but also attractive to that daily-increasing 
portion of the public who find a pleasure in studying the 
state and prospects of distant countries. 

This volume has not been written in a hasty manner, for 
the mere purpose of meeting publishing demands, but is the 
result of the progressive labour of several years. We have 
not only availed ourselves of all accessible publications, 
a list of which will be found in the Appendix, but have 
had the advantage of personal communications with Russian 
officers who themselves took an active share in the opera- 
tions on the Amur. Mr. Lijhdorf, established at Nikolayevsk 
since 1856, imparted to us a great deal of information on the 
commercial prospects of the country; and Captain Priitz 

* In June 1857, we published a paper on the u Russians on the 
Amur" in Bentle/s Miscellany. 


allowed us to share his experience of a five months' residence 
at Nikolayevsk. To those gentlemen we beg to tender our 
hearty thanks. 

Anxious as we have been to make the book as complete 
as possible, there will doubtless be shortcomings almost 
inseparable from a work of this description, and the reader 
may now and then desire more detailed information than we 
are able to afford. In all such cases we throw ourselves 
upon his kind indulgence. 

Our illustrations are from authentic sources, and may be 
relied upon as true delineations of the scenery and the 

The maps have been drawn expressly for this book, and will 
be found to present many new features, though we frankly 
admit them to be deficient in some minor particulars. For 
the orthography of proper names we have adopted the system 
recommended by the Royal Geographical Society, and 
employed in the Hydrographical Office. The letters a and t 
are always to be pronounced as in ravine, the o as in go, the 
e as in there, and the u as in flwte. The diphthong ai or ei 
as the t in hide. The consonants are pronounced as in 
English, but kh expresses a guttural. 

We have avoided the use of foreign names, and terms of 
weights and measures, as much as possible, and the few which 
occur are explained in the glossary at the end of the volume. 
The dates are according to the Gregorian Calendar, which is 
twelve days in advance of that still in use in Russia. 

With these brief observations we submit our work to the 
kind consideration of the Public. 

37, Southampton Terrace, Waterloo Road, 
October, 1861. 




WO. FAOl. 

1. Mangun Tomb R. Maack, to face Title. 

2. View of Bureya Mountains „ to face 179 

3. ViewofDyrki „ „ 182 

4. A Manguii Village „ ,,378 


engraved bt mr. w. brewer, with the exception of n06. 19, 20, 
25, 29, 32, and 54, whioh are by mr. john swain. 

1. Arms of Albazin, from Description 45 

2. Goldi Sledge B. Maack 96 

3. Portrait of General Count Muravief-Amursky • „ 115 

4. View of Aigun, and reception of General Muravief by the 

Chinese in 1854 SverbSef 118 

5. ViewofMariinsk, 1854 , 120 

6. View on the Shilka R. Maack 165 

7. View below the Bureya Mountains . . . . „ 181 

& Goldi in a Boat „ 183 

9. View of Dere, Lower Amur „ 188 


► Tatar Monuments at Tyr Permikin < 195 


13. Nikolayevsk, 1859, from an original sketch by Capt. Priitz . 197 

14. Manchu Mill ......... R Maack 256 

15. Goldi Spindle , 312 

16. Birch-bark Basket „ 305 

17. SleepingTent „ 335 

18. Goldi Summer Hut near the Sungari . . . „ 338 

19. Oronchon Sverbeef 343 

20. Manyargs, Woman, Girl, and Man . R. Maack and Sverb6ef 345 

21. Manyarg Harpoon R. Maack 349 

22. Oronchon Fishing Apparatus, from Description . . 349 


11. f' 



XO. PAD*. 

23. Manchu Matchlock R. Maack 350 

24. Manyarg Horn „ 356 

25. Manchu „ 358 

26. Manchu Cart , 359 

27. Manchu Barge „ 363 

28. Fishing Apparatus near Aigun „ 363 

29. Goldi , 366 

3a Orochis, from Castries Bay .... La Perouse 367 

31. Mangun Belt R. Maack 369 

32. Mangun „ 370 

33. Goldi Idol „ 370 

34. Goldi Ear-ring „ 371 

35. Summer Hut at the Usuri Mouth „ 372 

36. Birch-Bark Canoe , 372 

37. Mangun Harpoon „ 373 

3a Anvil „ 374 

39. Bellows „ 374 

40. Spear Head „ 374 

41. Interior of a Mangun House „ 376 

42. Goldi Idol Poles „ 377 

43. Mangun Spear „ 379 

44. Goldi Spear „ 381 

45. Snare „ 382 

46. Mangun Idol „ 383 

47. TheGodPanya „ 384 

48. Shaman Tomb „ 385 

49. Cradle „ 386 

50. Mangun Knife for cutting out Fish-skin Ornaments „ 388 

51. No. 1, Mangun Pocket for Tinder „ 388 

52. 2, Mangun Birch -bark Box „ 388 

53. 3, Fish-skin Ornament „ 388 

54. Gilyaks R. Maack and Sverbeef 369 

55. Aino Elder La Perouse 395 

5d Aino Tomb v. Sicbold 397 

57. Aino Burial-place „ 398 

58. Orotskos with Reindeer „ 398 


The Regions of the Amur to illustrate Events of the 17th Century, p. 1 
The Regions of the Amur in 1861 (at the end) 
The Ijower Amur p. 193 




I.— Manchuria and the Amur previous to the Appearance of 

the Russians 3 

Manchuria 1100 B.C. is inhabited by Tunguzian tribes known 
to the Chinese as Suchi. The conquests of the Koreans 
first introduce a certain degree of civilization, and in the 
seventh century is founded the empire of Phuhai, which in 
925 a.d. falls under the sway of the Eidans, also of Tunguzian 
origin. The Eidans in turn succumb to the Gin, who reign 
in China until 1234, when they are overthrown by the 
Mongol Yuen, who had been called into the country by the 
Chinese. On the expulsion of the Mongols, a native dynasty, 
the Ming, ascends the throne of China and subjugates Man- 
churia; but they are expelled from Manchuria in 1621 by 
Nukhatzi, a lineal descendant of the ancient Gin, and who 
becomes founder of the Manchu dynasty still reigning in 

IL— First News of the Amur, 1636 ; Poyarkof's Expedition, 

1643 TO 1646 9 

The Russian Cossacks steadily advancing through Siberia, 
hear for the first time of the Amur, when they stand by 
the Sea of Okhotsk in 1636. Further information is obtained 
by Perfirief on the Vitim; and Poyarkof, in 1643, leaves 
Yakutsk on an expedition to the Amur. He ascends the 
Aldan, crosses the Stanovoi Mountains, and winters in a 
Daurian village on the Dzeya. His extortionate conduct 



causes hostilities with the natives, and his officer, Petrof, 
meets with a repulse at Moldikichid. Having lost forty men 
by famine, Poyarkof descends the Dzeya and Amur, and 
winters in the country of the Gilyaks, whence he returns to 
Yakutsk by way of the Sea of Okhotsk. 

ILL— Khabarof, 1647—1652 14 

A shorter route to the Amur is discovered by some Cossacks, 
and Khabarof avails himself of it on his first expedition in 
1649. Arrived on the Upper Amur he leaves a small de- 
tachment at one of Lavkai's Forts, and goes back to Yakutsk 
for reinforcements. On his return to the Amur, 1660, he 
descends that river with men, storms a triple fortification, 
surprizes Tolga's village, and builds Achanskoi gorod, where 
he winters. He is attacked there by the natives, and subse- 
quently by the Manchu. In the ensuing spring he re-ascends 
the Amur, and at the Bureya Mountains meets with one 
hundred and eighteen Cossacks, commanded by Chechigin 
and Philipof. Nagiba had been sent in advance with twenty 
men to announce the arrival of these reinforcements, but he 
missed Khabarof, and descended the whole of the Amur, 
returning by way of the Sea of Okhotsk to Yakutsk. Kha- 
barof continues the ascent of the Amur, and, on his arriving 
at the Dzeya, part of his men mutiny, and one hundred and 
thirty-six out of a total of three hundred and forty-eight 
desert him. He winters at the Komar. 

IV.— Stkpanop, 1652— 1661 26 

The events on the Amur attract the attention of the Govern- 
ment at Moscow, and Simoviof is sent to make preparations 
for the arrival of a large military force. Exaggerated reports 
of the riches of the country cause it to be looked upon as 
the Eldorado of Siberia, and all sorts of adventurers make 
their way thither. Khabarof is recalled to be rewarded for 
his services, and Stepanof appointed his successor. Stepanof 
is not able to carry out the instructions of the Government in 
fouuding permanent settlements, but continues roving along 
the Amur and the Sungari. At Kamarskoi ostrog he is 
besieged in the spring of 1655 by a large Manchu force. Push- 



kin, who had been Bent to the Argun, prefers joining 
Stepanof on the Lower Amur; both winter in 1655-6 at 
Kosogorsky, in the country of the Gilyaks. Stepanof con- 
tinues his predatory expedition until 1658, when he falls at 
the mouth of the Dzeya in an encounter with the Chinese. 
The few remaining Russians evacuate the Amur in 1661. 

V.— Discovery and Occupation op the Shiika, 1652-69 . 34 

The Cossacks of Yeniseisk push across Lake Baikal, and their 
reports induce the Voivod, Pashkof, to send Beketof to explore 
these territories (1652). Beketof crosses the Yablonnoi 
Mountains, and in 1654 founds Neludskoi ostrog, but want of 
provisions induces him to join his compatriots on the Amur. 
Pashkof having been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the 
Russian settlements on the Amur, leaves Yeniseisk in 1656, 
and following the footsteps of Beketof, founds Nerchinsk in 
1658. In 1662 he returns to Yeniseisk, being succeeded by 
Tolbusin. The Amur itself had been forsaken at that time. 

VL— Renewed Enterprizes on the Amur. Albazin. 1666 to 

1682 38 

Chernigovsky, having slain the Governor of Ilimsk, flies to the 
Amur where he builds Albazin, 1666. He is joined there by 
others; villages are founded near the fort, and Albazin be- 
comes a place of importance. The Chinese complain of the 
encroachments of the Russians, and Milovanof goes on a 
conciliatory embassy to Peking in 1670, and Spafarik in 1675. 
In spite of orders to the contrary, the Russians at Albazin 
again navigate the Lower Amur. They found settlements on 
the Dzeya, 1676-8. Milovanof in 1681 is appointed governor 
of these, and builds a fort on the Silimji. A proposed ex- 
pedition into the country of the Gilyaks, does not take place, 
but Frolof with sixty-one Cossacks goes to the AmguD, where 
he constructs a fort. At the close of 1682 the Russians have 
settlements at Albazin, on the Dzeya, the Silimji, and the 

VII.— War with China, 1683 to 1687 45 

The Chinese make large preparations to expel the Russians 



from the Amur. They intercept a detachment of sixty-seven 
Cossacks, under Mylniko£ above the Dzeya, and then destroy 
the settlements on the Dzeya and Amgun, taking the garri- 
sons of Ust Zeisk and Tugursk prisoners. They then advance 
upon Albazin, where they arrive on the 4th June, 1686, and 
after a blockade of eighteen days the garrison agrees to evacu- 
ate the fort, and retire to Nerchinsk. The Chinese having 
destroyed the fort withdraw to Aigun, where they leave a 
strong garrison. The Russians return almost in the wake 
of the Chinese and rebuild Albazin. In the Bpring, 1686, 
Beiton is sent on a reconnoitring expedition to the Komar, 
and gathers information from a prisoner about the rumoured 
approach of a large Chinese army. He at once returns to 
Albazin, where the advanced-guard of the Chinese arrives on 
the 7th July. The Russians are surrounded in their fort, and 
offer a vigorous resistance until November, wheu the siege is 
raised in consequence of the expected conclusion of a treaty 
of peace. 

V1IL— Thb Trkxty of Nhrchinbk, 1689 54 

Venukof goes on a mission to Peking to arrange preliminaries 
for concluding a treaty of peace. Count Golovin is appointed 
Russian plenipotentiary, and leaves Moscow with a large 
retinue on the 20th June, 1686. On his arrival at Udinsk 
(28th Sept., 1687), he sends a messenger to Peking to ask the 
Chinese to fix upon a place for the conference. Selenginsk 
is chosen, but owing to the disturbed state of the Mongol 
country, the Chinese are not able to proceed to it, and the 
place of conference is removed to Nerchinsk, where they arrive 
on the 11th July, 1689, with a large force by laud and water. 
Golovin reaches the place on the 18 th August, and after 
several conferences the treaty of peace is signed on the 
29th. By it Albazin and the whole of the Amur are ceded to 

IX. - The Amur since the Treaty of Nerchinsk, 1689 to 1848 . 66* 

a. The Russo-Chinebe Frontier 65 

Chinese Frontier Monuments — Arbitrary extension of the 
Boundary at the Gorbitza — Punishment of Persons crossing 



the Frontiers — Shobelzin and Shetilof a Expedition — Escape 
of Exiles across the Frontiers — Inspection of the Boundary 
by the Chinese. 

b. The .Russian Mission at Peking 71 

The Russians taken Prisoners on the Amur are settled at 
Peking — The Russian Clerical Mission instituted by the 
Treaty of 1727 — Present Position of the Mission (See also 
p. 449). 

c. The Amur and Sakhalin under the Dominion of China . 73 

Government and Military Forces — Tribute— Sakhalin— Trade 
— Chinese Immigration. 

X.— - The Romish Missionaries in Manchuria .... 78 
M. Verolles is appointed Vicar Apostolic of Manchuria in 
1838, and with his sanction M. de la Brunidre undertakes a 
journey to the country of the Shang-mao-tze on the Amur. 
In May, 1845 he leaves Kai-cheu in Leaotong, and passing the 
newly-founded town of Asheho, proceeds to Sansin on the 
Sungari, whence he makes an excursion to Susu, a Goldi 
village lower down. He describes the Goldi "Fish-skins" 
living there, and the mode in which the Manchu collect their 
tribute. The arrival of some Manchu officials induces him 
to return to Sansin, whence he proceeds to the Usuri, and 
lodges in the hut of some ginseng-seekers. His Btay during 
the winter enables him to become acquainted with the 
Chinese colonists and the natives. In the spring of 1846, he 
descends the Usuri and Amur, but is murdered by the 
Gilyaks. In the mean time the mission in Southern Manchu- 
ria makes progress, and M. Venault establishes himself at 
Asheho. The Christians are persecuted, but peace is restored 
in 1850, and M. Venault resolves to clear up the fate of his 
late fellow-labourer. By way of Sansin he proceeds to Imma 
on the Usuri, descends that river and the Amur to beyond 
Pul, and near Hutong concludes an act of reconciliation with 
the murderers. He hears here for the first time of the 
appearance of Russians. His return journey is attended by 
considerable hardships. 



XL— Regent Hktoby of the Amur 113 

Proposals for re-occupying the Amur are made soon after the 
conclusion of the Treaty of Nerchinsk, but nob until 1847, 
when Count Muravief is appointed Governor-General of 
Eastern Siberia, are steps taken towards it.' Vaganof is sent 
to explore the Amur, and a naval "Amur Expedition" com- 
manded by Admiral Nevilskoi is sent to the mouth of the 
river. Petrovsk, Nikolayevsk, Mariinsk, Alexandrovsk and 
Constantino vsk are founded between 1850 and 1854. 

1854—5 117 

Count Muravief conducts the first Russian Expedition down 
the river chiefly to supply the Russian squadron in the 
Pacific with provisions. The Chinese do not offer resistance. 
Muravief meets Admiral Putiatin in Port Imperial, and re- 
turns by way of Ayan to Irkutsk. War is declared against 
Russia by England and France. The results of the naval 
campaign of the latter are insignificant. The attack upon 
Petropavlovsk is unsuccessful, and the Russians effect their 
retreat to Castries Bay. 

1855—6 125 

Three military expeditions descend the Amur, and colonists 
are settled between Mariinsk and Nikolayevsk. The allied 
squadrons are commanded in that year by Admirals Bruce 
and Sir James Stirling. The former enters the harbour of 
Petropavlovsk, and then sends three vessels to Ayan. Com- 
modore Elliot in May sails up the Channel of Tatary and 
finds the Russians in Castries Bay, but they escape during a 
fog. At Cape Crillon he joins Sir J. Stirling, and the whole 
squadron then proceed to the Sea of Okhotsk, where they 
capture a Russian brig, and the Greta. The fleet returns to 
the south, and Commodore Elliot a second time sails up the 
Channel of Tatary. Urup is taken possession of in the name 
of the Allies. (A battalion of infantry starved to death, 449). 

1856—7 136 

News of the conclusion of peace arrive in July, and the 
Russians are left unfettered to carry on their plans. Count 
Muravief secures large means at St Petersburg. Four 
stations are formed along the Amur, a postal service is 
arranged, and two small steamers arrive from America. 



1857—8 139 

Count Muravief returns to the Amur. Large bodies of troops 
descend the river and form stations along its banks. Captain 
Furruhelm avails himself of the newly-opened communications 
to convey provisions to the Russian settlements in the Pacific, 
and the United States send a commercial agent. Count 
Putiatin sets out on a mission to Japan and China, but is not 
successful in concluding a boundary treaty with the latter. 
The Amur regions are erected into the "Maritime Province of 
Eastern Siberia," and another squadron leaves Kronstadt for 
the Pacific. (See also p. 450). 

1858 143 

Count Muravief concludes the Treaty of Aigun, 28th May, and 
Count Putiatin that of Tientsin on the 13th June, fila- 
govesh'chensk, Ehabarovka and Sofyevsk are founded. The 
Amur Province is separated from the Maritime Province and 
the Cossacks are organised. The naval force in the Pacific is 
still further increased. The Amur Company founded. 

1859_ 60 147 

Colonisation is encouraged Stations are formed along the 
Usuri and Sungachan and a surveying corps is sent there. 
German colonists leave European Russia for the Amur. 
Count Muravief for the fifth time descends the Amur. The 
Chinese, after the affair of the Peiho, assume a hostile attitude, 
but after the occupation of Peking by the Allies they are glad 
to sign a treaty, 14th November, by which the Amur and the 
coast of Manchuria are ceded to Russia. (See also p. 450). 

The Regions of the Amur in 1861 154 

Political Divisions. Population. Military strength. Naval 
force in the Pacific. Telegraphs. 


XII. — Geographical Description of the River Amur . 161 

Introductory ; the Amur from Ust Strelka to Albazin, 166 ; 
Albazin to the Dzeya, 168 ; Blagovesh'chensk to the Bureya 
Mountains, 175 ; The Bureya Mountains, 179 ; Prairie Region 



of the Lower Amur, 181 ; Prom the Usuri to the Bokki 
Mountains, 184; Bokki Mountains to Mariinsk, 187 ; Sofyevsk 
to Castries Bay, 190 ; Mariinsk to Nikolayevsk, 192 ; Liman 
of the Amur, 200. 

XIII. — The Country North of the Amur 202 

Middendorfs Journey from the Sea of Okhotsk to list 
Strelka, 203 ; Usoltzof s Journey to the Source of the Gilui 
and to the Dzeya, 212. 

XIV.— The Country South of the Amur. 

The Coast of Manchuria 224 

Port St. Vladimir— Port Imperial — Ternay Bay— Bullock Bay 
— Sybille Bay— Port St. Vladimir — Port Sir Michael Seymour 
or Olga Bay — Victoria Bay — Tumen river. (See also p. 451). 

The Coast Range 232 

The Usuri 233 

Source — Sungacha — Lake Kingka — Veniukof s exploration. 

The Sungari 259 

Source — Basin — Girin — Nonni — Maximowicz's attempted ex- 

XV.— Sakhalin . . 265 

Extent — Interior— Aniva Bay— East Coast — West Coast— 
Schrenck's Journey. 

XVL— Climatb 275 

General Considerations— Dauria — The Upper Amur, Bla- 
goveshchensk— The Usuri. (See also p. 451)— Mariinsk and 
Nikolayevsk— The Channel of Tatary— Sakhalin. 

XVIL— Mineral Productions. 285 

XVTIL— Plants 288 

Statistics of Plants, 288 ; Physiognomy of Vegetation, 292 ; 
Food Plants, 294 ; Trees, 299 ; Medicinal Plants, 308 ; Miscel- 
laneous, 3 11. 

XIX.— Animals 315 

Mammals, 310, 452 ; Domestic animals, 317 ; Game and Fur- 
bearing animals, 320; Birds, 324; Fish and Reptiles, 334 ; 
Insects, etc. 



XX.— Native Inhabitants 388 

Language— Manner of Life — Chinese names of tribes— Popu- 
The Tunguzians of the Upper Amur, Oronchons and Manyargs . 343 
Territory, 34$ ; Reindeer and Horses, 343 ; Chinese influ- 
ences, 344 ; Features, 345 ; Dress, 346: Manner of life, 347 ; 
Habitations, 348 ; Fishing 348 ; Hunting, 350 ; Religion, 351 ; 
Nomadic Tunguzians of the Angara, and how they spend each 
month throughout the year, 351 ; Solon, 357. 

Manchu, Daurians and Chinese 358 

Territory, 358 ; Appearance, 359 ; Dress, 300 ; Houses, 360 ; 
Idols, 361 ; Temples, 362; Fishing, 363; The Daurians on the 
Nonni, 364 ; Targachins, 365. 
Tunguzians of the Lower Amur, Qoldi, Manguns, Orochi . . 366 
Territory, 366 ; Appearance, 367 ; Dress, 368 ; Fishing and 
Summer habitations, 371 ; Winter habitations, 376 ; Idols, 377 ; 
Bear cages and Bear hunts, 379; Snares, 380; Religious 
notions and Idols, 383 ; Artistio Instincts, 388. 

The Gilyaks 389 

The Aino 392 

The Oroke, or Orotskos of Sakhalin 398 

XXL — Commercial Resources and Germs for their Develop- 
ment 400 

Productions : vegetable, mineral and animal— Manufactures- 
Commerce with neighbouring countries — Transbaikal and 
Siberia, 404; Eiakhta, 410; Japan, 412; Communications, 
412 ; Government, its Merits and Shortcomings, 415 ; Amur 
Company, 421; Imports, 425; Exports, 428. 


Historical Authorities 431 

Historical Sketch of Recent Geographical Explorations . 434 
Middendorf— L. A. Schwarz — Vaganof— Muraviefs First Expe- 
dition, Permikin, Sverbeef, Anosof— Admiral Putiatin and 
Lieutenant Peshchurof— Shenurin, Raebsky and Chikachef — 
Leop. von Schrenck — C. J. Maximowicz — Maack'a Expedition 
with Kochetof, Gerstfeldt, Sondhagen and Fuhrmann— East 
Siberian Expedition of the Russian Geographical Society, 
L. A. Schwarz, Boshkof, Smiragin, Usoltzof, Radde, E.E. Meier 



— Romanof— Maximowicz up the Sungari — Schmidt, Qlehn 
and Brylkin — Veniukof 's Exploration of the Usuri — Colonel 
Budogorsky, Lieutenant £>ariyetaro£ Captain Gamof— Richard 
Maack's Exploration of the Usuri — Perry Mc D. Collins — 
Pargachevsky — Esche and Jaooby— Ltihdorf— Nazimof, Sava- 
lakhin — Naval Surveys, Russian, Admiral Nevilskoi, Boshnak, 
Rimsky-Korsakof, Putiatin ; English ; French ~ Atkinson's 
works on Siberia. 

Notes on the Navigation of the Channel of Tatary, Castries 

Bat and the Gulf of the Amur. By Captain Priitz . 445 

Addenda and Errata 448 








The Amur has not yet played that part in the world's history, 
which from its size we might deem its due. Although 
flowing, in its middle course, through regions which in 
fertility rival those of central Europe, it enters a sea ice- 
bound during half the year or more. The establishment of 
a commercial emporium at its mouth, could be of importance 
only to a power which, possessing territories in the centre of 
Northern Asia, sought by means of it to establish communi- 
cation with transmarine countries. The nomadic and semi- 
civilised tribes, who from time immemorial occupy the basin 
of the Amur and its tributaries, never felt the want of such 
communication ; and, moreover, inclination led these tribes 
to prefer conquests in the south, rather than to rely upon 
their own strength, and to found an independent empire in 
Manchuria. Thus we find the destinies of Manchuria 
almost uninterruptedly connected with those of China. 

It was reserved to Russia, first to appreciate the impor- 
tance of the Amur ; but, before relating* the events which 
led thither the forces of the Colossus of the North, we will / 
give a short account of the tribes inhabiting the basin of the . 


Amur, prior to the first discovery of the river by the 
Cossacks in the seventeenth century.* 

The tribes inhabiting these regions are mentioned for the 

first time in the Annals of China, 1100 b.c. They were 

;then known as Suchi, or Zucheu. Gorski supposes their 

' original seats to have been on the Steppes of Mongolia, 

whence they retreated before the advancing Mongols to the 

forests of Girin, north of the sacred Shan-alin mountains. 

j From Girin they spread over the whole of present Man- 

jchuria, and colonies of them proceeded northward far into 

! Siberia. The Chinese applied the name of Dun-khu to the 

* eastern Mongols, and hence the name of Tunguzians. b 

The manners and customs of the Tunguzians progressed 
with their political development. The ancient Tunguz 
learned from childhood to bend the bow and to tame the 
horse. His arrow-head was of stone, dipped in a deadly 
poison. Life was deemed of little value ; the dead were buried 
in the open field, and a few pigs sacrificed on the grave, 
which was screened from sun and rain by a wooden roof. 
Age was but little respected ; and to shod tears at the death 
of a relative was considered weakness in men or women. 

* Gorski, " Origin and first Deeds of the Manchu Dynasty ;" " On the 
Origin of the Manchu Dynasty of the Tain, in ' Labours of the Russian 
Mission at Peking " German Translation. Berlin, 1858—9. Plath, "The 
Peoples of Manchuria." Gottiugen, 1838. 

b According to Strahlenberg, the Arinians, a poor tribe on the 
Yenisei, called the Tunguzians, Tonge-kze, i.e., people of three tribes, 
which Bulichef (Travels in East Siberia, vol. i.) refers to the Reindeer 
Tunguzians or Oroohou (Gratfctereindeer) ; the Tunguzian fishermen 
of the sea-coast or Namki (Lamutes ; -A r a*w=sea), and the Daurians or 
Tunguzians, rearing homed cattle and tilling the soil. The Tunguzians, 
of whom the Manchu form a mere subdivision, are of the Turanian 
race of man, to which belong also the Mongols (Tatars), and Turks. 
Nevertheless, the name " Tatar " has been applied in a much more 
extended sense. The dynasty at present reigning in China, is for in- 
stance frequently called Tatar, though of Manchu (Tunguzian) origin. 


During winter these savages lived in subterraneous 
dwellings, smeared their bodies with pig's fat to protect 
themselves against the cold, and wore garments made of 
hides or fish-skins. The women wore a dress of coarse 
linen. In summer they built huts at the fringe of the 
forest. Dogs, pigs, and horses, were their only domestic 
animals ; the chase and fishing their only occupation. Each 
village acknowledged a hereditary chief, but was independent 
of all else. 

The first amelioration in the condition of the inhabitants 1 
is due to the conquests made by the Koreans. Agriculture: 
was introduced ; villages combined, and, under common 
chiefs, formed small confederacies. In the fifth century, the 
Moho, whose lands extended to the Amur, paid tribute to 
China in arrows, bows, fur-clothing, and sables. Korea, in 
her wars with China, found powerful allies in these Moho, 
who sent to her aid an army of 150,000 men ; but when 
Korea fell under the sway of the Chinese, in 677, the tribe of 
Tunguzians, subsequently known as the Manchu, retired to 
the Shan-Alin Mountains, and having been joined there by 
many Koreans, they founded the Empire of Phu-hai, or 
Bokhaiy which at the height of its power reached from the 
middle of Korea to beyond the Amur, and from the Eastern 
Ocean to the Great Khingau. This empire was inhabited by 
1,000,000 families, and maintained an army of 20,000 well- 
trained troops. The villages became towns, and the arts and 
sciences were cultivated by Chinese and Koreans invited into 
the country. The Emperor of China hastened to acknowledge; 
his powerful neighbour as the "Most Sacred Emperor of 
"Bokhai," and the country had become one of the most 1 
flourishing kingdoms on the Eastern Sea. 

This kingdom in 925 fell under the sway of the Kidans or « 
Liao, a dynasty also founded by a Tunguzian tribe, the 
Shygoey or She-wei, who inhabited the country stretching 
from Liao (Leao-tung or Shinking) to the Amur. The 


'empire of the Kidans had been founded in 907 by Apaokhi, 
and existed until 1125. It included the whole of Mongolia 
and Manchuria, and extended from the eastern ocean to 
Kashgar, and from the Altai mountains to the wall of China. 
China itself was tributary from 1012 to 1101. The Kidans 
extended this power to the kindred tribes of the Mohos on 
the Sungari and Amur, who in the seventh century had 
again assumed the ancient name of Suchi. Part of these 
Suchi were entered in the books of the Kidans as civilised, 
others were described as "wild Suchi," but they kept cattle 
and horses. The dynasty destined to supplant that of the 
Kidan, we allude to the Gin (Aishin, Sushin or Niuchzen), 
arose among these wild Suchi. The founder of this family 
was Hian-phu of the tribe of the Wan-yan, who after a 
sojourn in Korea returned to his native country, introduced 
agriculture, and replaced the birch-bark huts by houses. 
I lis successors extended their power by policy, and the fifth 
of the line was appointed governor over the wild Suchi. lie 
died in 1021. Agutha, the seventh of the line, whose birth 
in 1068 had been announced by the appearance of a five- 
coloured cloud, threw off the yoke of the Kidans, fortified in 
1114 the passes leading into Manchuria, and assembled a 
small force of 2500 men on the Lai-leu river. Emissaries 
were sent to the kindred tribes of the Suchi, and the force at 
his disposal soon amounted to 100,000 men, most of them 
cavalry. Before invading China, he publicly enumerated the 
crimes of the Kidans, and called upon heaven and earth to 
second his undertaking. Large rewards were held out to the 
soldiers in case of victory, ignominious punishment in case 
of defeat. On marching out, the arrows were discharged to 
keep off misfortune, flames burst forth from the earth, and 
repeatedly settled on the points of the lance — a sign that the 
Gods were propitious. The army was divided into troops of 
50 men, 20 of whom in the front rank wore heavy coats of 
mail, and were armed with lances and swords. The others 


in the reat-ranks had light armour, with bows and javelins. 
On approaching the enemy two men were sent in advance to 
reconnoitre, and the attack was made simultaneously from 
four sides. They advanced, trotting, to within a hundred 
paces of the enemy, and approaching the hostile lines at full 
speed discharged their arrows and javelins, wheeled round 
suddenly, and renewed this attack, until the enemy began to 
waver, and only then resorted to the use of the sword. 

In 1115 Agutha assumed the name of Tai-tzu and the/ 
title of Emperor. His dynasty he called Gin, or the Golden, \ 
with reference probably to its stability. . His successors j 
reigned in northern China from 1115 to 1234, and southern/ 
China paid tribute from 1141 to 1213. Constant wars with! 
the Koreans, Chinese, and Mongols, whose assistance had j 
been solicited by the Chinese, broke the power of the Gin. 
The Mongols established themselves in China, and reigned as 
the Yuen until 1368. The population of Manchuria was 
decimated during this period, the towns were burnt, and 
ruins alone attested the former flourishing state of the 
country. One of the emperors of the Yuen dynasty went' 
by sea. to the mouth of the Amur, where he built in com- 
memoration the Monastery of Eternal Repose, on the site of 
which may still be seen several columns with inscriptions 
recording the fact. (See chap, xii.) 

The Yuen were overthrown in 1368 by a revolution headed' 
by a common Chinese, who founded the dynasty of the Ming. 
At that time Manchuria was divided into Tsyan-chzu, Khai- 
zi and Ye-shen. The first of these, to the north of the f 
Shan-alin, was the most important. In 1403 the Ming made 
Ye-shen tributary, and soon after the other districts also. 

At Odoli however, in Tsyan-chzu, there appeared, about j 
1 360, Aishin-gioro, a lineal descendant of the ancient Gin, and/ 
several villages acknowledged in him their chief. About the/ 
latter part of the sixteenth century one of his descendants^ 
Kurkhatzi, enlarged the frontiers of the territory. In 1590 


' he introduced a Manohu alphabet ; and the Mongol language, 

j which hitherto had been employed in all written communica- 

\ tions, was supplanted by the Manchu. The prisoners of war 

were settled in Tillages, and their prosperous condition 

\ attracted others. The Chinese who had invested Hurkhatzi 

Iwith a fine sounding title, and a salary of 800 Ian of silver 

a year, were first roused to the danger of having so powerful 

a vassal in 1616, when he assumed the name of Tyan-min, 

and title of Emperor. By his compatriots he is called Tai- 

tzu, i.e. "the first of his race." War was declared against 

him, but Tai-tzu repeatedly defeated the Chinese ; and in 

1621 settled at Mugden in Leaotong, which he made his 

capital. He died in 1626. 

In China a revolution had broken out, and Li, a common* 

Chinese, defeated the Emperor, who committed suicide in 

1643. The opponents of Li called to their aid th6 Manchu, 

. whose emperor expelled Id from Peking (1644), but died 

\ soon after ; and the conquest was completed under Shunchi, 

ithen a child of six years of age. 

It was about this time the Russians first appeared on the 
Amur. The tribes living there partly acknowledged Manchu 
sovereignty ; but the Manchu, still occupied in the consolida- 
tion of their power in China, were not at first in a position 
to protect their subjects against the ravages committed by 
the Cossacks, and only in 1651 we find them actively engaged 
in the wars against the Russians. It was reserved to the 
great Emperor Kang-hi to expel the enemy, and force him, 
in the treaty of Nerchinsk, to evacuate the regions of the 


EXPEDITION, 1643-46. 

The Russians made the first settlement at the foot of the Ural/ 
towards the end of the 15th century. In 1587 they founded 
Tobolsk, whence with surprising rapidity they spread ovei^ 
the whole of Siberia. Tomsk was founded in 1604 ; Yeniseisk,* 
in 1619 ; Yakutsk, 1632 ; and Okhotsk, in 1638. ( 

The Russians received the first accounts of the existence 
of the river Amur from a party of Cossacks, who had been 
sent in 1636 from Tomsk to the Aldan river to make the 
Tunguzians living there tributary. Some of these, under 
the leadership of Ivan Moskvitin, kept steadily advancing 
towards the East, and in 1639 stood upon the shores of the 
Sea of Okhotsk, where they built a winter station, near the 
mouth of the TJlya river, for the collection of tribute. Here 
they met with Tunguzians from the river Ud, further south, 
who spoke of tribes dwelling along the Dzeya (Si) and Shil- 
kar, who cultivated the soil, and with whom they bartered 
sables for corn. Another tribe near the mouth of the Amur, 
called the Natkani, carried on commerce in glass beads, copper 
vessels, silver ornaments, silk and cotton stufls, evidently 
received from Japan and China. 

In the same year (1639), another party of Cossacks, com- 
manded by Max Perfirief, who had been sent from Yeniseisk 
to the Vitim, heard confirmatory reports with respect to the 
Shilka (or upper Amur). They heard about a prince of the 


Daurians, Lavkai, who inhabited a stronghold at the mouth 

of the Urka rivulet ; his people kept cattle and tilled the 

soil ; silver, copper and lead ores were said to be found in his 

territories, and an active bartering trade was being carried 

on with the lower part of the river, whence silks, cotton stuffs, 

and other merchandise of Chinese origin were imported.* 

} These various reports did not fail to attract attention in 

/Siberia, but particularly in the rising town of Yakutsk, 

•: which was just then becoming important through the fur 

•trade. -Its first Voivod, Peter Petrovich Golovin, resolved to 

have the river explored. One expedition was sent by way of 

the Vitim, but proved unsuccessful ; a second, however, up 

the Aldan, succeeded. 

, Vasilei Poyarkqf was placed at the head of 132 men, most 
of whom were Promyshleni, who previous to joining had been 
made to undergo some drill as Cossacks. He took with him 
a small half-pounder iron gun, with ample supplies of provi- 
sions and ammunition. On the 15th of July, 1643, the 
expedition left Yakutsk. For eleven weeks he ascended the 
Aldan and its tributaries, the XJchur and Gonoma, but being 
considerably retarded by numerous rapids and shallows on 
the latter river, he found himself obliged at the end of 
September to build winter quarters. Poyarkof left forty 
men here to guard the stores, and himself with the remain- 
ing ninety-two continued the journey by land, dragging 
their provisions on hand sledges. After travelling four weeks 
under great hardships, he came to the Brianda rivulet, a 
tributary of the Dzeya. After two days' descent of the 
Dzeya, he met the first Reindeer Tunguzians, at the mouth of 
the lower Brianda. Proceeding still further down the river, 
and passing the mouths of the Gilui and XJr, at the last of 
which he found Tunguzians with horned cattle, Poyarkof, 

* Perfirief was not able to advance far along the Vitim; and a second 
l>arty of seventy Cossacks, sent soon after him, returned also without 
having made any progress. 


poyabkof's expedition. 1 1 

eleven days from his departure from the upper Brianda, came 
to a Daurian village at the mouth of the Umlekan, the inha- 
bitants of which tilled the soil and kept cattle. His recep- 
tion was most friendly ; he was presented with ten oxen and 
forty baskets of oatmeal, a very acceptable gift to our famish- 
ing adventurers, who, in the vain hope of coining into rich 
and fertile regions, had left their winter quarters at the 
Gonoma with an insufficient supply of provisions. The 
Danrians were not at all reticent about giving information 
with respect to the country beyond. A Khan, Borboi, dwelled 
in a fortified town, about six weeks' journey from the Umlekan. 
He had not yet succeeded in making tributary all the tribes 
dwelling on the Amur, and occasionally sent out two or three 
thousand men, armed with spears, bows or fire-arms, to collect 
tribute from all who offered resistance. At his residence a 
considerable bartering trade was carried on, especially in silks 
and cottons imported from China. Manchu traders visited 
the dwelling places of the Tunguzians and Daurians regu- 
larly. The reports concerning Lavkai were confirmed. 

The accession of ninety-two men to a small Daurian 
village soon caused provisions to run short. Poyarkof there- 
fore sent Yushkof Petrof, one of his officers, to Moldikichid, 
a fortified Daurian village at the mouth of the Selimda, 
where provisions were said to abound. Petrof had received 
orders to entice the chiefs from the village, and keep them 
as hostages, so as to be able to dictate his own terms to 
the inhabitants of the place. No such stratagem, however, 
was required. The unsuspecting native chiefs, Dozi and 
Kolpa, went of their own accord to meet the Russians as 
friends, and offered their services. Petrof, instead of taking 
advantage of this favourable reception, detained the chiefs, 
and demanded instant admission into the village. This the 
Daurians would not grant; Petrof threatened to torture 
the hostages, and by his overbearing conduct provoked the 
inhabitants to an attack. They sallied from their village, 


several on horseback, and vigorously attacked the Rus- 
sians, who had ten men made prisoners dangerously 
wounded and were obliged to retire with the remainder, 
many of whom were also wounded, to the forest, where the 
Daurians soon surrounded them. Kolpa was shot by mistake 
by his own people, Dozi escaped. After four days the 
vigilance of the Daurians relaxed, and Petrof was enabled 
to make good his retreat to the Umlekan. 

His chief was naturally highly incensed at the ill success 
of the expedition. He refused to share the small stock of 
provisions yet remaining with Petrof 's people ; and they had 
to subsist on the bark of trees mixed with a little oatmeal 
and the roots of herbs. Poyarkof 's own conduct had how- 
ever scarcely been more judicious. The hostages whom he 
had taken escaped ; and the natives, rendered desperate by 
his continued exactions, attacked his encampment, but were 
beaten off. It is said that Poyarkof offered the bodies of 
those slain in the contest to the companions of Petrof for 
food. Famine gradually thinned the ranks of the Russians ; 
and ere the forty Cossacks left at the Gonoma arrived with 
provisions, nearly fifty men had succumbed to the pangs of 

On their arrival the journey was continued without 
loss of time. After three days he came to a Daurian 
village at the mouth of the Gogul Kurgu ; two days sub- 
sequently to the village Baldachin ; and, on the fifth day, 
to the mouth of the Dzeya. The Daurian population was 
numerous, and all of them tilled the soil. After three 
weeks Poyarkof reached the mouth of the Sungari (Shingal), 
when he sent on a reconnoitring party of twenty-five 
men, all of whom, two excepted, were slain by the Ducheri, 
who at that time inhabited the banks of the Amur, from 
the Dzeya to four days beyond the Usuri. Nearly six weeks 
more were spent in reaching the mouth of the Amur, four 
weeks of which among the Natki, a tribe inhabiting the 

poVarkof's expedition. 13 

lower course of the river, and, like the Gilyaks, not yet 
tributary to any foreign power. Among the latter Poyarkof 
fixed his winter quarters, and collected as tribute twenty-eight 
zorok of sable. 

On his return, in 1645, he took with him one of the 
chiefs as a hostage. He came in a boat to the mouth of the 
Ulya river, where he wintered, and early in the following 
year continued his journey to Yakutsk, and arrived there 
on the 12th June, 1646. A few men, whom he had left 
at the Ulya to collect tribute, did not stay there very long ; 
for Nagiba, who passed that way in 1652, found no trace of 
them. In Poyarkof's opinion, 300 men would suffice 
to subject the whole of the territories visited by him. 
Three forts, with a garrison of fifty men each, should be 
erected in the country of the Daurians and Ducheri, and the 
remaining 150 men kept in hand in case the collection of 
tribute was opposed. Provisions abounded, and no serious 
resistance was to be apprehended. 

We cannot deny to Poyarkof the merit of having been 
the first to explore the course of the Amur. At the same 
time his treacherous and cruel behaviour towards the 
natives, who had received him with open arms, makes him 
suffer greatly in our estimation ; whilst his want of foresight, 
in entering an unknown region, in the middle of winter, 
without a sufficient supply of provisions, proves him to have 
been a man scarcely fit for the command of an expedition 
of this kind. 



PHILIPPOF. 1647 to 1652. 

The accounts of Poyarkof kept alive the interest taken in 
the exploration and conquest of the countries of the Amur ; 
and when some Promyshleni, who had been hunting on the 
Olekma, received information, in 1 64>7, of a shorter and more 
commodious route to the Amur, measures were at once taken 
to render it available. Cossacks were sent to construct an 
Ostrog at the confluence of the Tugir and Olekma, and 
some of the men crossed the dividing range in 1648. At a 
Simovie of some Promyshleni they left the Olekma, and in 
two days arrived at the Urka river, a tributary of the Amur. 
They advanced cautiously, avoiding all villages, and came 
upon the Amur at a place half a day's journey below the 
mouth of the TJrka. Here they saw a raft upon the river, 
and were told by their Tunguzian guide that his country- 
men on the Shilka descended the river every autumn with 
their horses, to buy corn from Prince Lavkai. At the 
beginning of winter they returned by land to their own 
country. Lavkai's town was said to be a day's journey lower 
down ; but owing to their small number the Cossacks pre- 
ferred returning to the Olekma, notching the trees how- 
ever on their route, to guide any future expedition. 

In the year following this preparatory exploration, 
Yerofei Khabarof,* a wealthy Promyshleni, proposed the sub- 

* Khabarof was born at Sol Vuichegodsk, in the government of 
Vologda. In 1636 we find him settled on a farm on the Yenisei, in 
Siberia. In 1639 he established the saltworks of Kutskoi, on a tributary 
of the Lena, which two years afterwards were declared crown property, 
without granting him an indemnity. 


jugation of the newly discovered territories to Dmitri 
Andrev Zin Transbekof, the newly appointed Voivod of 
Yakutsk, who in that year had wintered at Ilimsk. Kha- 
barof offered to bear the expenses attending the outfit of 
such an expedition himself, and promised to send the 
tribute collected to Yakutsk. The Voivod at once gave his 
consent. A few Cossacks were placed at the disposal of 
Khabarof, and rather late in the season he left Ilimsk with 
about seventy men. He wintered at Tugirsk, and on the* 
18th January 1650 continued his journey to the Amur on 
sledges. The bad conduct of Poyarkof and his Cossacks had 
already become known among the native populations, and 
on Khabarof s approach they deserted their dwellings. In- 
stead of the one fort of Lavkai, Khabarof found five, from 
one to one and a half day's journey from each other, all 
belonging to the prince and his relations. The fortifications 
consisted of wooden walls, with four or five turrets for 
archers, the whole surrounded by a ditch and high earth- 
walls. Small, covered gates, for sorties, were placed beneath 
the towers, and secret passages led down to the river. 
Within the enclosure stood large wooden houses, with paper 
windows, each affording accommodation to fifty or sixty 

The first and second of these forts Khabarof found de- 
serted ; but on approaching the third, he saw five horsemen 
advancing towards him. These were Lavkai himself, two of 
his brothers, his son-in-law, and a servant. They halted at 
speaking distance, and conversation was carried on through 
a Tunguzian interpreter. Lavkai desired to know the object 
of the Russians in visiting his country. When told they 
merely came for the sake of trade, he proved incredulous : he 
had heard from a Cossack that the Russians intended to 
conquer and enslave the country. Khabarof replied, that he 
might possibly require a small tribute ; but that, in return, 
the Tzar would take them under his powerful protection! 

16 khabarof's second 

Lavkai's brothers seemed to hesitate ; but the prince's opinion 
prevailed, and the conference was broken off abruptly by the 
Daurians, who rode away. An attempt to overtake them 
proved futile. 

The fourth fort had also been evacuated ; and at the fifth, 
an old woman only, who claimed to be Lavkai's sister, had 
been left behind. She had once been a prisoner at the town 
of Bogdoi,the governor of Manchuria, and spoke with raptures 
of the fine merchandize and fire-arms found in his capital on 
the river Nonn. 

Khabarof now returned to the first of Lavkai's forts, which 
was not only the strongest, but also offered the greatest ad- 
vantages for communicating with Tugirsk. The other forts 
he appears to have burned ; at all events no further mention 
is made of them. He discovered here large pits filled with 
corn, which the Daurians had left behind. The river con- 
tained plenty of excellent fish ; the forests sheltered valuable 
animals ; and the surrounding country seemed well adapted 
for settlement. Well satisfied with his preliminary journey, 
Khabarof, with a few men, returned to Yakutsk, where he 
arrived on the 26th March, 1650. Those remaining behind 
collected tribute from the neighbouring tribes, which, together 
with some samples of wheat grown on the Amur, were for- 
warded by way of Yakutsk to Moscow. 

Khabarof was most favourably received by the Voivod, who 
placed twenty-one Cossacks under his orders, and gave per- 
mission to enlist any number of Promyshleni. One hundred 
and seventeen of the latter joined, and Khabarof hastened back 
to the Amur, with the intention of exploring that river to its 
mouth. Lavkai's fort was destroyed and abandoned. On 
the 2nd June, 1651, Khabarof left on a number of large 
and small barges. Two days later the Russians passed 
the site of the Daurian village of a Prince Dazaul. On the 
third day two Daurian villages were passed, the inhabitants 
of which took to flight on the approach of the Russians. 


In the evening they came in sight of a triple fortification 
recently built by the Daurian Princes Gugudar, Olgamza 
and Lotodim, with a view of checking the progress of the 
Russians. The forts were built of wood and earth and sur- 
rounded by a ditch about two yards deep, and into which led 
covered gateways. The Daurian garrison had been reinforced 
by fifty Manchu horsemen whom the Emperor Shun-chi had 
sent to collect tribute, and who, it was fondly hoped, would 
prove formidable champions in the coming conflict. Trust ing 
to their superior numbers, the Daurians attempted to prevent 
the landing of the Russians, but on the first discharge of 
fire-arms, by which twenty of them were laid low, they 
retired precipitately into their fortress. The Manchu warriors 
fled inland. A demand to surrender was answered by a 
defiant discharge of arrows from the turrets of the forts. 
The Russians sucessfully replied with their fire-arms, and 
during the night, with the aid of three small cannons, effected 
a breach beneath one of the towers, and by sunrise they 
entered the first of the forts. The enemy, after a hand-to- 
hand fight, retired to the two remaining divisions of the 
fortress. At noon the first of these was entered by the 
Russians, and soon afterwards the third and last was taken 
by storm. No quarter was given to any offering resistance. 
Only a few Daurians made their escape; the others were 
slain without mercy. Two hundred and fourteen bodies were 
found in the first and second divisions of the fort, and four 
hundred and twenty-seven in the third. If we add to these 
the twenty men said to have been killed at the place of 
landing, the loss of the Daurians would amount to six 
hundred and sixty-one males. Two hundred and forty-three 
women and young girls, and one hundred and eighteen 
children, were made prisoners. The booty included two 
hundred and thirty-seven horses, one hundred and thirteen 
head of cattle, and rich stores of grain. The loss of the 
Russians was trifling in comparison: four killed, and forty- 



five slightly wounded. No quarter appears to have been 
granted, and the whole proceeding of Khabarof evinces un- 
warrantable cruelty and short-sighted policy. 

Khabarof resolved to stay here for some time. On the 
day following this victory, the Manchu who had fled at the 
beginning of the battle, returned in the company of a Chinese 
Mandarin, wearing a silk gown and a cap of sable, who 
expressed a desire to live on friendly terms with the 

Some of the prisoners were sent as messengers to the 
neighbouring Princes Dazaul, Banbulai, Shilginei and Albaza, 
requiring these to send in their submission to the Tsar. 
However, none of them returned ; and on the 20th July 
Khabarof continued his journey, taking with him the best 
horses.* On the following day he passed Banbulai's village, 
which had been deserted by the inhabitants. Some scouts 
were sent in advance, and took a few prisoners, who mentioned 
a village belonging to Prince Kokorei, opposite the Dzeya ; 
other Daurian villages were to be found lower down the 
river, the chief one of which had been built recently, and 
strongly fortified; it belonged to the Princes Tolga, Turuncha 
and Omutei. After two days and a half Khabarof passed 
the mouth of the Dzeya, but found the village deserted. He 
then sent a party in advance, who took the fort of Tolga (Tol- 
gin gorod) by surprise, while the Daurians, unaware of the 
proximity of the Russians, were enjoying themselves at the 
village, a few hundred yards lower down on the river. When 
the main body of the Russians arrived the horses and 
cannon were landed, and the village was surrounded. All 
those offering resistance were cut down, and the three 
princes with one hundred of the most respectable inhabitants 
taken prisoners to the fort. Here they were made to swear 
allegiance to the Tzar, and they promised to pay tribute for 

b The women and children, it would seem, had been liberated. 


a thousand men subject to their authority. Turuncha and 
Tolga remained as hostages, and the others were permitted to 
return to their village. 

Both parties appear to have lived peaceably together at first. 
The burthen of supporting two hundred Russians for a length 
of time was too much for the friendship of the Daurians, and 
one fine morning, the 3rd September, the whole village 
was found deserted. Khabarof was thus obliged to give up 
his intention of staying here during the winter. The fort 
and village was burnt, Princes Turuncha and Tolga were 
taken on board one of the barges, and on the 7th September 
the expedition sailed for the lower Amur. Tolga committed 
suicide by drowning on the following day, in consequence of 
the barbarous tortures to which he had been subjected. 
Pour days brought our adventurers to the defile of the 
Bureya mountains, two more were spent in the passage 
through them, and on the eighth day they arrived at the mouth 
of the Sungari. The country above and below the mountains 
was inhabited by the Goguli, whose villages contained but 
ten huts each. Below the mouth of the Sungari lived the 
Ducheri in larger villages of from sixty to eighty huts. 
Both tribes cultivated the soil and kept cattle. Seven days' 
journey below the Sungari commences the country of the 
Achani — Poyarkofs Natki — who depended mainly upon the 
produce of fishing for their sustenance. 

On the 29th September Khabarof came to a large village 
of the Achani, ten days' journey above the Gilyaks, where he 
resolved to winter, and built a fort Achanskoi Gorod. d 

e Khabarof himself admits having tortured and burnt his ho 
The memory of this treatment by the early Russians still lives amond 
the natives of the Amur, and Middendorf was told in 1845 by a Nigi| 
dal (Natki), that the early Russians were devils, who made gridiron 
of the parents to roast the children. (Middendorf, iv. p. 174.) 

d Maack discovered the remains of an extensive Russian fortification, 
on an eminence, a short distance above the mouth of the Usuri, which 



The addition of two hundred persons to the population of a 
small Achani village, especially as these were in no mood to 
pay for provisions, formed a sufficient reasonfor hostilities on the 
part of the natives. When therefore a hundred men in two 
barges left on the 5th of October on a foraging expedition 
to the XJpper Amur, the Achani and some Ducheri confede- 
rates, altogether perhaps 1000 men strong, attacked the fort 
from the land side. They were just preparing to set fire to 
its wooden walls, when Khabarof, with seventy men, made a 
sortie ; thirty-six remained behind, working the three guns 
with great effect. The natives retreated after a fight which 
lasted two hours, and left on the field one hundred and 
seventeen killed, or one man out of nine. The Russians lost 
only one man. Two days after this affair the foraging party 
returned, their barges deeply laden, and a heavy tribute was 
exacted from the unfortunate Achani. 

Khabarof, in anticipation of a second attack by a still 
larger force, put his fort into a better state of defence, a 
precaution which proved well timed. The Ducheri and 
Achani had sought protection against their foreign oppres- 
sors from the Manchu governor Uchurva, who resided at 
Nadimni. Orders had been given by him to Izinei, the 

he considers to be identical with Achanskoi Gorod. This is evidently 
a mistake. Khabarof, in his account, does not mention the Usuri at 
all, but Poyarkof tells us that Ducheri dwelled for the space of four 
days' journey below it, and only then commenced the country of the 
Achani, amongst whom Khabarof took up his winter quarters. A 
glance at the map will show the satisfactory manner in which the 
reports of both explorers tally. Khabarof having passed the Sungari, 
remained for seven days in the country of the Ducheri. On the 23rd 
September he entered that of the Achani, and four days subsequently 
arrived at his winter quarters, which we are inclined to believe were 
somewhere about the mouth of the Khungar. The account of Achans- 
koi Qorod in Atkinson's Travels appears to us a mere elaboration of 



governor of Niulgut, on the Sungari (Ninguta), to assemble 
an army, march against the Russians, and take them, if 
possible, alive ! Izenei, full of confidence, gathered about 
him 2020 horsemen, armed with bows or matchlocks, several 
of which latter had three or four barrels. His artillery- 
consisted of six iron cannons. Twelve shells of potter's earth, 
filled each with forty pounds of gunpowder, were to be used 
for blasting. 

At daybreak on the 24th March, 1 652, the Manchu made 
their appearance before the fort of the Russians. These 
latter were still asleep ; and had it not been for the firing off 
of matchlocks by the Manchu, possibly with a view to in- 
timidate their enemies, Khabarof might never have returned 
to tell the tale of his adventures. Fortunately he was thus 
roused, and prepared for defence. The Manchu placed their 
guns in position, battered the fort, and soon effected a 
breach, through which they prepared to take the place by 
assault. The Russians hastened to place one of their cannons 
behind the breach, and opened a most destructive fire upon the 
assailing column. Having repulsed them, one hundred and fifty 
Russians made a sortie, and took two of the Manchu guns which 
had been brought too close to the fort. Most of the matchlock- 
men having been disabled, the Russians were left masters of 
the field. Their trophies, in addition to the two cannons, 
consisted of seventeen matchlocks, eight standards, eight 
hundred and thirty horses and a few prisoners. The loss of 
the Manchu is said to have been six hundred and seventy-six 
killed left upon the field ; the Russians had only ten killed 
and seventy-eight wounded. 

The country surrounding Achanskoi was by no means 
fertile ; and Khabarof, tired of living upon fish alone, and 
also apprehensive of renewed attacks by the Manchu, when, 
owing to the distance from Yakutsk, he could not reckon 
upon any reinforcements, resolved to reascend the Amur. 
Six barges (Doshchaniks) were prepared for that purpose ; 
and, on the 22nd April, 1G52, he left his winter-quarters. 


At the month of the Sungari, an army of 6,000 Manchu 
and Ducheri had been assembled to prevent the Russians 
from landing at that part of the river ; the wind, fortunately, 
was favourable, and enabled the Russians to pass without 
molestation. On the boats arriving at the upper end of the 
defile of the Bureya mountains, Khabarof unexpectedly met a 
party of one hundred and eighteen Cossacks and Promyshleni, 
who had been sent from Yakutsk to reinforce him, and were 
commanded by Tretiak Yermolae? Chechiyin and Artemei 
Philippof Petrillovskoi.* 

These men had left Yakutsk in the summer of 1651, soon 
after Khabarofs departure on his second journey. They 
were provided with thirty puds of lead and thirty of powder, 
most of which was left at Tugirsk to be forwarded in the 
ensuing spring. On the 21st of September they arrived at 
the Amur, built boats without loss of time, and descended 
the river as far as Banbulai's village, when the approach of 
winter stopped their further progress, and induced them to 
stay near the Samara. As soon as the ice began to move 
(4th May), Nagiba, with twenty-six men, was sent in ad- 
vance to apprise Khabarof of the approach of reinforce- 
ments. The main body followed, after the ammunition had 
been received from Tugirsk, on the 24th of May, and met 
Khabarof as stated above. 

Nagiba however had missed him, probably in the laby- 
rinth of islands above the mouth of the Sungari, where the 
presence of a large Manchu force rendered it dangerous to 
separate his small band. Scarcely below the Dzeya, on the 
fourth day since his departure, Nagiba had been surrounded 
by Daurian boats, but forced a passage. Slowly he de- 
scended the river, leaving papers notifying the fact of his 

e Petrillovskoi was to go as ambassador to China, accompanied 
by a baptised Tatar, Anania Uruslanof, a serf of the Voivod of 
Yakutsk. The former never reached his destination, and the latter, 
in 1653, deserted to the Chinese, who heaped benefits upon him. 


haying passed, and, after four weeks of unsuccessful search, 
met a Natki, who told -him Khabarof was staying lower 
down; a piece of information which proved erroneous. 
Three more weeks elapsed; Nagiba found himself sur- 
rounded by numerous Gilyak boats ; to retreat or to ad- 
vance was impossible. Nine days he remained in this 
precarious position, when hunger made him desperate ; he 
effected a landing, killed thirty men who offered resistance, 
and took away the fish hanging in one of the store-houses 
near a village. After this feat he was permitted to continue 
his journey unmolested, and, after three days, on the 26th 
of July, he reached, the mouth of the Amur. It was not 
considered feasible to return by the same route, and Nagiba 
resolved to build a larger boat, and, like Poyarkof, return 
by the sea of Okhotsk. 

Just as he was putting to sea, a large Gilyak boat, with 
a crew of forty men, approached with hostile intentions ; 
the Russians, however, slew every one of their assailants. 
At last they left. Violent storms raged for ten days, the 
boat was crushed between icebergs, provisions and ammu- 
nition were lost; but the crew reached the land in safety. 
For five days they continued travelling along the coast, 
subsisting on herbs, roots, and some seals thrown up by the 
sea. They then built another boat, and skirting the coast 
for a fortnight, came to the TJchalda river, where they 
found a plentiful supply of dried fish among the Tunguzians 
and Gilyaks living there. Nagiba stayed here until the 
middle of September, and then crossed by land to the 
Tugur river, where he remained till the summer of 1653 
collecting tribute. At his departure he left behind Ivan 
Uvarof and twenty men, to complete the subjugation of the 
neighbouring tribes, whilst himself, with four men, again 
went to sea, and after four weeks reached the Nangtara 
river, whence he crossed the mountains to the Aldan. On 
the 15th of September, 1653, he arrived at Yakutsk. Rein- 



/forcements were subsequently sent to Uvarof , but tbe fort 
was finally destroyed by the it^ } 6ft 3. 

We now return to Khabarof, whom we left at the defile of 
the Bureya Mountains. That commander considered his 
forces sufficient to maintain himself on the Amur. He 
ascended the river, collected tribute from the Ducheri, and 
was just about to build a fort opposite the Dzeya, when the 
outbreak of a mutiny among his men put a sudden termina- 
tion to his plans. Out of three hundred and forty-eight f 
men, one hundred and thirty-six, led on by Polyaokof, 
Ivanof, and Vazilief, deserted on the 1st August, at the 
mouth of the Dzeya, with three barges, and sailed down the 
Amur. Subsequently some of these appear to have returned 
to their allegiance ; other? m ay have gone over to the 

II phfaese' or y ere ^^Jty the yjj Yes * 

T h^ ^mhaflft y whi ch it had been proposed to send from the 

s Tol fla's villa ge to Peking^ dicT not TTeparJk" because no guide 
could be found. The proposed building of a fort at Eoko- 
rei's village, opposite the Dzeya, did not take place for want 
of a larger force. Messengers were sent on the 9th August 
to Yakutsk, to ask for reinforcements. For fear of the 
Daurians they mostly travelled by night, and spent nearly 
five weeks on the journey. Khabarof conside^LfiJttQQ-mfin^. 
a^sufficient force to resis t ^0,(X$ Jjfi£jv&^ Of course no 
such force was available at that time in Siberia, and the 
Voivod therefore sent the messengers on to Moscow, where 
the conquest of the Amur had already been under considera- 
tion for some time. 

'From the number of men stated to be with Khabarof; thirty- 
eight, in addition to one hundred and eighteen brought by Chechigin, 
must have arrived from Siberia. They were probably brought to the 
Amur by Nikita Prokopief, who left Yakutsk on the 30th June, with 
orders to report on the country, and bring back the tribute which 
might have been collected. He was told to seek out Khabarof, either 
at Chi pin Ostrog, or Albazin, on the upper Amur. 


Khabarof, in the same year (1652), appears to have as- 
cended the Amur to the mouth of the Kamara, where he 
built Kamarskoi Ostrog on an island opposite the mouth of 
the river, subsequently known as one of the chief positions 
of the Russians on the Amur. 

Looking back at what had b een dona during fjfa ft Gmt nine 
years of Russian adventur e pjl ^| A ^nrj jr must ac- 
knowledge the perseverance otscmie of the leaders, but at 
the same time' deplore that enterprises of this kind were left 
m the ra ^ffc nf p^yn^a ^ T,Qf ^f r :,lhf .^ 

ftgm iT^Tp edia^e benefit than the per manent nflyajitagft -ftf thrt 
state. The natives appear to have been exposed to all sorts 
of extortion: tribute was levied to an unlimited extent, 
without any commensurate good being conferred upon the 
natives. No settlements of peasants, or tillers of the soil* 
were founded ; the resources of the country were soon ex- 
hausted by perpetual foraging expeditions of Russian ad- 
venturers. When the Russians first arrived on the Amur, 
the natives cultivated fields and kept cattle. Ten years 
afterwards these fields had become deserts ; and a country, 
which formerly exported grain, could not even support its 
own reduced population. There is no doubt that, had these 
expeditions been carried out upon a more sensible plan, 
Russia might have enjoyed these resources of the Amur two 
centuries before our times. 

v T ?ivft hn, nHrnrl find tni'rfy fnrn Tfrnaajflnfl in fill Jhad Ifift 

Siberia for the Amur. Of these, two hundred and Jfcen^ 
re mained with Khabaro f^ frff ftT1 ty ^fflpd a small fort on 
the Tugur river, on the sea of Okhotsk^ sixty-nine returned 
to Yakutsk, and two hundred and thirty-three were lqsfcJS ! 
the combats jnth. th§ .natur e s and Mftn/».hn T by finning nr «' 
desertion. The loss of the natives and Manchu, in killed, 
amounted, as far as can be ascertained, to about 1,600 



STEPANOF. 1652—166 1 . 

Reports of the excesses committed by the adventurers on 
the Amur had reached Moscow, and it was resolved to send 
an army of 3,000 men to occupy the newly-explored terri- 
tories in a more efficient manner. The Okelnichei and 
Voivod, Prince Ivan Ivanovich Lobanof Rostovskoi, was 
chosen to command this expedition ; and Dimitri Ivanof Zin 
Simoviof, with a small body of troops, was sent in advance 
to prepare the way. He left Moscow in March 1652, 
reached the Lena late in the autumn of the same year, 
wintered at Chechwiskoi Volok, and continued his journey 
to the Olekma in the spring of 1653. He thence sent his 
men up to the Tugur river to rebuild the fort which had 
formerly stood there, and himself hastened to Yakutsk to 
consult the Voivod and ensure the success of the expe- 

Whilst Simoviof wintered at the Lena (1652 — 3), the two 
Cossacks whom Khabarof had sent for succour passed on 
their way to Moscow, spreading everywhere the most ex- 
aggerated reports about the riches to be found on the Amur, 
and the prosperous condition of their chiefs settlement. 
They spoke of abundance of gold, silver, cattle, sables. The 
natives were said to wear satin dresses and gold ornaments. 
As might have been expected, these unfounded reports caused 
an immense sensation among the adventure-loving popula- 
tion of Himsk and Werkholinsk. Hundreds hastened to 
seek their fortune on the Amur. The Cossacks of Werkho- 


simoviof's proceedings ON THE AMUR. 27 

linsk were the first to start for the Eldorado of Eastern Asia. 
They were followed by the carpenters engaged to build the 
boats for Rostovskoi's expedition ; by fur-hunters, peasants, 
and convicts. Cossacks sent to bring back the fugitives, met 
with resistance. All along the Lena, lawless bands plun- 
dered the villages and devastated the fields. These disorders 
continued for several years ; and as late as 1655, the brothers 
Michael and Yakof Zorokin headed a band of three hundred 
adventurers, and, plundering all along the road, advanced to 
the Amur, where they met with a miserable death. After 
that time, however, measures were taken to check these 
lawless proceedings. A fort was built at the mouth of th e 
Olekma, and no one allowed to proc eed to the Amur without 
a passport. 

Simoviof, when he came back to the Olekma, met one hun- 
dred of these adventurers, but his orders to them to return 
were not heeded. Without delay, he continued his journey 
to the Amur, and in August 1653, he met Khabarof and 
three hundred and twenty* men at the mouth of the 
Dzeya. Small golden medals were presented to Khabarof 
and his companions in the name of the Emperor, as an 
acknowledgment for the services they had rendered. 
Simoviof at once communicated the instructions he had 
received. Khabarof was to go to Moscow, to report 
personally on the capabilities of the newly discovered 
territories. The command of the whole forces of the 
Amur was to devolve upon Onufrei Stepanof. Tretiak ~ 
Chechegin, with four men, was to proceed upon an embassy M \ \ 
to Peking^ Three forts were to be constructed : one at the * 
mouth of the Dzeya, a second on the site of Albaza's village, 
and a third at the mouth of the Argun. The soil was to be 
cultivated, and one year's provisions for an army of 6,000 

* Khabarof, in the earlier part of the year, must have been rein- 
forced, for we left him with two hundred and ten men in his winter 
quarters at Kamarsk. 



men were to be collected. Previous to Simoviof s return 
forty-eight Promyshleni arrived on the Amur, and offered 
their services. They were placed under the command of 
Kashenitz and ordered to the upper Amur, to collect tribute. 
They built an Ostrog at the river TJrka, where they wintered, 
but havingexpended their ammunition, theypreferred rejoining 
Stepanof, on the lower part of the river. The embassy for 
Peking actually departed, but Chechegin and his p^ tth^lti jotih 

ftlftin nn the r^ *y ihmr TWli fir j gujflffl, 

Simoviof departed with Khabarof, and took with him 
some Daurians, Ducheri, and Gilyaks, males and females, 
whom he presented to the Tzar ; they were, however, restored 
to their families in 1655. At Tugirsk, where he wintered, 
he ordered forty puds of powder and forty of lead, with 
many iron agricultural implements, to be buried, instead of 
"forwarding them to Stepanof, who sadly wanted ammunition. 
Khabarof, as a reward for his services, was created Syn- 
boyarskoi ; and the villages on the Lena, extending from 
Ustkut to Chinskoi Volok, were placed under his superinten- 
dence. At the present time, his memory still lives in the 
name of the village of Khabarova, near Kirensk. 

Unfortunately, none of the orders of Simoviof were carried 
out. After Khabarof's departure Stepanof descended the 
Amur to the mouth of the Sungari, where he obtained 
provisions. He then wintered in the country of the Ducheri. b 
In the spring of 1654 a second visit was paid to the Sungari ; 
but after having gone up that river for three days, he met a 
hostile flotilla, and an army of 3,000 Manchu, besides Daurians 
and Ducheri. Stepanof courageously attacked the boats and 
put them to flight, but as Simoviofs sage arrangements had 
left him without powder and shot, he could not hope to make 
head against the land troops, and was obliged to retire. On 

b Very likely a short distance above the mouth of the Usuri, where 
remains of an old fort have been discovered by Mr. Maack. 


the 4th July he surprised a Daurian village, made some 
prisoners, but found scarcely any provisions. This want of 
provisions and ammunition is pleaded by him as an excuse 
for not building the three forts. He ought, however, to have 
carried out these orders during the previous year. 

On again ascending the Amur, Stepanof met thirty 
Yeniseisk Cossacks, who had left their chief, Beketof, in 
search of other service ; and soon afterwards he came upon 
Beketof himself, with the remainder of the men (twenty- 
four) entrusted to his command. In order not to interrupt 
our narrative, we will not stop here to explain how these 
Yeniseisk Cossacks came to the Amur, but reserve this for 
the next chapter. 

Stepanof resolved to winter at the mouth of the Kamara. 
The old fort, built by Khabarof, had been destroyed; and it 
was necessary, therefore, to build a new one. The new fort 
was surrounded by an earth wall, with four bulwarks, sur- 
mounted by a double row of palisades, and was enclosed by a 
ditch six feet deep and twelve wide. The approaches were 
defended by iron spikes and spike traps. The guns were 
mounted on a raised platform in the centre of the forts, and 
pipes laid from a well to all parts of the fort, in case the 
enemy should succeed in setting fire to it. A church conse- 
crated to " Saviour of the World " was built here, and con- 
tained a miracle-working painting. Two Chinese prisoners 
were b aptised in this churc h miKflArjnftnf1y | and ^>jf. ^ 
Yakutsk^ T he Jbtussian tptrnson numbered five h undred ttiati. 
T^ft winter jpnuA nuietly ; but on the approach of spring, a* 
C hinese army of 10 T 000 men, with fifteen cannons , , numerous \\\\ 
matchlocks, and storming apparatus, appeared before the * 
place. The storming apparatus was carried on two- wheel 
cars, and consisted of large shields covered with leather and 
felt, behind which the marksmen might advance with safety 
close to the fort; storming ladders, with wheels and iron 
hooks ; wood, pitch, straw, and other combustible materials. 


Twenty Russians, who had gone to the forest to fell wood, 
were surprised by the enemy and taken prisoners. A number 
of Russians made a sortie ; but they ventured too far, were 
surrounded and cut to pieces. The Chinese at once proceeded 
to the erection of batteries. One of these was placed on a 
cliff on the opposite bank of the river, two hundred feet high, c 
and at a distance of four hundred and seventy yards. The 
distance of two other batteries was one hundred and sixty and 
two hundred and thirty yards respectively. A continuous fire 
was kept up day and night, from the 20th March, but without 
producing any effect upon the earthen walls. The Chinese, 
at last, resolved to take the place by assault. Storming 
parties advanced from four sides simultaneously, but met 
with the most determined resistance. The hand-to-hand fight 
lasted through the whole of the night, from the 24th to 25th 
March ; and at dawn the Russians made a sortie, compelled 
the enemy to retire, and several prisoners, two matchlocks, 
many cannon balls, and plenty of ammunition fell into their 
hands. Thenceforth the Chinese fired off their guns at long 
intervals, and scarcely ventured from their camp, which was 
pitched at eight hundred yards from the fort. After three 
weeks' siege they retired, having previously destroyed the 
boats of the Russians. During the siege the garrison prayed 
and fasted, seeking thus strength to undergo the hardships 
and privations their position entailed. 

And most nobly did they hold their own against an enemy 
so far superior in numbers and well provided with ammuni- 
tion, of which the Russians were almost entirely destitute. 
After the withdrawal of the Chinese, seven hundred and 
thirty cannon balls were picked off the field ; but none weighed 
above two pounds. 

Before leaving his winter quarters, Stepanof sent the 

• Cape Bibikof (Long-tor) where traces of these batteries may yet 
be seen. See Index. 



tribute he had collected direct to Moscow, instead of pre- 
viously allowing it to pass through the hands of the Voivod 
of Yakutsk. This was by no means a wise proceeding, for 
he had mainly to rely upon the latter for a fresh supply of 

In the meantime Feodor Pushchin, with fifty Cossacks, 
had been sent from Yakutsk to the Argun (spring, 1654), 
at the mouth of which he built a Simovie. . He ascended the 
river for three weeks without meeting any inhabitants, and 
resolved, therefore, to join his fortunes with those of Stepanof. 
He fell in with the latter at the mouth of the Sungari, and 
together they ascended that river and collected provisions to 
last for one year. They then sailed down the Amur, and 
built an Ostrog, in the country of the Gilyaks, which they 
called Kossogorski, d from its position on the slope of a hill. 
They were told here of thirty Cossacks under Anika Loginof, 
who had come by land from the north, but had been mur- 
dered. The supposed murderers were punished. During 
the winter above one hundred and twenty sorok of sable, 
eight black, and fifty-six red fox-skins were collected as 
tribute; and in the spring (1656), our adventurers re-ascended 
the Amur. Pushchin speaks of the country of the Gilyaks as 
the only place where tribute might yet be collected advan- 
tageously. He recommended to send annually some Cossacks, 
by way of Okhotsk, to collect it ; and saw in this the means 
of- preserving the lower part of the river for Russia, even 
should its upper part be lost. 

On again ascending the river, the villages of the Ducheri 
were found to have been deserted. The burnt remains of 
Russian barges were found ; and subsequently they heard that 
forty Russians, who had come down in them, had been 
killed by the Ducheri. These men, no doubt, formed part of 

d The position of Kossogorski has been satisfactorily identified. It 
was situated on the island of Suchi, opposite Mariinsk. 


Zorokin's band of three hundred adventurers. 8 And 
Pushchin found the corpses of the remainder, who had been 
starved to death, higher up the river. 

On arriving at the Sungari, Stepanof, with a few men, 
ascended that river to reconnoitre, but found the villages 
deserted. He was told by a few solitary individuals who m 
he met, that the inhabitan t ^fl hft«n grayed bv the 
ffliiTiPaA up thft Biingftri. and ham rattled down on the 
Kurga River. 

The future of Stepanof 's small army did not appear in the 
brightest light. Provisions were running short, and it 
became more difficult from day to day to procure a fresh 
supply. On the 22nd July, he sent away Pushchin and 
Beketof, with twenty Cossacks, to take the tribute to 
Moscow. In their desire to find out a shorter route, this 
party lost their way, and before reaching Tugirsk forty- 
one of them had died of hunger. Fortunately they met 
here with a convoy of provisions intended for Pashkof, who 
was then just about to start for the Shilka. 

Simoviof, in the meantime, had arrived at Moscow, and 
though the proposed expedition under Eostovskoi, as 
originally projected, had been given up on account of the 
disturbances which had taken place in Siberia, the central 
government showed its solicitude for the future of the Amur 
country by sending a letter to Stepanof (dated 15th March, 
1655), assuring him of the Tzar's special favour and en- 
couraging him to new enterprises. At the same time he was 
recommended to treat the native inhabitants with leniency, 
not to levy any excessive tribute, and ^to avoid unnece ssary 
\\ coUifl jon with the C hinese. These instructions, however 
well meant, did not prove of benefit in the state of affairs 
then subsisting on the river. 

Stepanof appears to have remained at Kamarskoi during 

e See p. 27. 



the winter, 1657-8. When he again descended the Amur, in 
the spring, he met a fleet of fortv-fiv e Manchu boats below 
the Sungari, well armed with large and small guns. 
Stepanof had with him. five hundred men ; but of these one 
hundred and eighty abandoned him before the commence- 
ment of the fight, and others deserted to the Chinese. 
Stepanof soon found himself surrounded by the enemy ; 
and his heroic resistance proved of no avail. Himself and 
two hundred and seventy men were either slain or made 
prisoners, and only forty-seven made their escape ; fifty 
soroks of sable fell into the hands of the conquerors. 

The one hundred and eighty deserters on ascending the 
Amur, met Potapof, who, with thirty men, had been sent 
from Nerchinsk to seek Stepanof. But instead of placing 
themselves under his orders, they robbed him of his pro- 
visions, and again descended to the mouth of the Amur, 
where they wintered amongst the Gilyaks. Having collected 
eighteen soroks of sable as tribute, they returned in the 
ensuing spring (1658) to Kamarskoi. On the way thither 
they were joined by the forty-seven Cossacks who had 
escaped at the Battle of the Sungari. At Kamarskoi the ad- 
venturers separated. One party of one hundred and seven took 
the tribute to the Lena ; the others (one hundred and twenty 
men) returned in the summer to the Dzeya, where the 
Tunguzians had remained faithful. The former party did 
not again return to the Amur, and the latter took no further 
trouble about the collection of tribute. Most of them 
returned to Yakutsk in 1660, and a few (seventeen) joined 
Paahkof on the Shilka in 1661. 





We will now go a few years back, to glance at the discovery 
of the Shilka river, which the Russians look upon as the 
chief arm of the Amur. Cossacks from Yeniseisk had 
pushed their exploratory excursions beyond Lake Baikal, 
across the Yablonoi Khrebet to the Shilka. One of these 
parties returned in 1652, and Pashkof the Voivod, a man of 
energy and enterprise, having gained from the men all in- 
formation he could, resolved to send an exploratory party in 
that direction, without losing any time in applying at 
Moscow for an authorisation. The command of the expedi- 
tion was entrusted to Beketof. On the 2nd June, 1652, the 
latter left Yeniseisk with one hundred Cossacks on boats. 
On his arrived at the Bratskoi Ostrog, he sent Maximof, with 
twenty men, in advance to the Irgen Lake, where he was to 
remain during the winter, to collect tribute and make pre- 
parations for crossing the mountains in the ensuing summer. 
Beketof himself, with the bulk of the expedition, wintered at 
the mouth of the Selinga river. In the spring (1653), the 
Cossacks made various excursions against the neighbouring 
Buriates ; and on the 2nd June, the journey up the Selinga 
was continued on large barges (Doshchaniks). After 
twenty-seven days' travelling they were met by Maximof on 
the Khilok river ; smaller boats were built and the navigation 
continued to the Ilgen Lake, which at that period still 


communicated with the Khilok. An Ostrog was erected 
there, and tribute in sables collected from the neighbouring 
Tunguzians. In addition to six soroks of sable, previously 
collected by Maximof, nineteen more were sent to Yeniseisk. 
(In the spring of 1654, Maximof was again sent forward to 
reconnoitre ; Beketof soon followed, and on reaching the 
Ingoda, constructed rafts, and descended that river and the 
Shilka to the mouth of the Nercha rivulet, opposite to which 
he built an Ostrog.) He collected tribute, and at once began 
to cultivate some fields. For a time all went well; but 
G antimur, a Tunguzian chief, who was fliflfiatifrffa fl p.t heiTy r 
subje ct to Russia, withdrew with his people to the righ t 
b ank of the Arpun. whence no persuasion could bring ^him 
back._ The Tunguzians who had remained behind, also 
began to show signs of disaffection. After a time they 
surrounded Beketof in his fort, took away some of his horses, 
and laid waste the fields. The Russians suffered a great 
deal from want of provisions. Thirty men left Beketof to 
try their fortunes on the Lower Amur ; and Beketof, with 
the remainder, followed soon afterwards, and joined Stepanof, 
as stated above (p. 29). 

Other parties were sent out from Yeniseisk, in the years 
1654 and 1655, to explore the country beyond Lake Baikal. 
Fashkof, not discouraged by the ill success of Beketof b ex- 
(pedition to the Shilka, proposed to the government at 
Moscow, to found a town upon the Shilka (Upper Amur), 
whence the surrounding territories might be subjugated with 
greater facility,) His proposals were approved. He was 
entrusted with their execution ; and appointed commander- . 
in-chief of the whole of the Russian forces on the Amur. 
( Ammunition was to be supplied from Tobolsk, and provisions 
from Himsk. 

On the 18th July, 1656, Pashkof left Yeniseisk with five 
hundred and sixty-six men, and continued his journey to Brats- 
koi on the Angara, where he wintered. Part of his provisions 


had been sent on to the Tugir, but fell into the hands of the 
famishing Cossacks of Stepanof (see p. 32). He, therefore, 
sent the remainder— two hundred and twenty-five chetverts of 
flour, and five hundred puds of seed corn — to Ilimsk. In the 
summer of 1657, Pashkof got as far as Irgen Lake, where 
he wintered; and, in the ensuing spring, continued his 
| journey to the Shilka, where he founded Nerchinsk (first 
1 called Neludskoi Ostrog, after a Tunguzian chief), at the 
imouth of the Nercha rivulet. , His provisions soon began to 
fail; and the Russians, for a time, had recourse to fallen 
horses, to dogs, and any other animals they could procure, 
until a fresh supply of flour arrived, by way of Tugirsk, in 
1659. Ammunition also was wanting. The supplies buried 
by Simoviof at Tugirsk in 1654, were thought of; but on 
search being made for the treasure, a wooden cross merely 
was found, and an inscription upon it stated that Zorokin and 
his companions had appropriated these supplies in 1655 to 
their own private use. 

"Whilst Pashkof was yet engaged in building Nerchinsk, 
he sent Potapof, with thirty men, down to the Amur 
(summer, 1658), to look for Stepanof, to acquaint him with 
his (Pashkof s) appointment to the chief command of all 
Russian forces on the Amur ; to order him to send one 
hundred men to Nerchinsk, and to establish himself with the 
remainder at Albazin. These orders however came too late. 
Potapof was met on his road by the one hundred and eighty 
deserters from the battle near the Sungari, who robbed him 
of his provisions ; and he was obliged to return, the object of 
his mission being unattained. 

Only seventeen of Stepanof s men subsequently (1661) 
joined Pashkof; and at that time the Russians had no force 
whatever on the Amur. Pashkof removed his head-quarters 
to Trgenskoi, and left a small garrison merely at Nerchinsk. 
From this place he sent in 1661 a party of Cossacks against 
the neighbouring Tunguzians. Amongst these were fifteen 


men who had formerly been on the Lower Amur ; and re- 
gretting the license they enjoyed there, they deserted. They 
built a raft ; descended the river to Nerchinsk, where they 
intimidated the few men left to guard the fort (most had 
gone fishing), and took away their boats. Their intention had 
been to leave the Amur altogether, and seek their fortunes on 
the Lei^a, or elsewhere. Fate however had otherwise or- 
dained. They were met and taken on the road by Larion 
Tolbusin, Pashkofs successor. Pashkof himself returned to 
Yeniseisk (1662). 

Under the direction of Tolbusin and Daniel Arshinski 
(from 1669), Nerchinsk gradually rose into a place of im- 






Since the year 1661 the whole of the Amur had been 
abandoned by the Russians ; but Chernigovsky inaugurated 
a new era of enterprise, by establishing himself at Albazin 
in 1669. Nikitor Chernigovsky, a native of Poland, had 
been exiled to Siberia in 1638. In the year 1650 we find 
.him " headman " of the agricultural colony at Chechinskoi 
Volok, and two years afterwards superintending the Ust 
Kutskoi saltworks. At that time a large fair was held 
annually at Kirensk on the Lena ; and the Voivod of Himsk 
used to go there to settle disputes and collect dues. In 
1665 the fair passed off as usual; but on his return the 
Voivod Lawrence Obukhof was surprised by one of the 
lawless bands then prowling about the country, and mur- 
dered. The leader of this band was Chernigovsky. Witsen 
in his " Noord en Oost Tartarije " tells us a somewhat more 
romantic tale. The Voivod was said to have dishonoured 
one of Chernigovsky's sisters, and was lolled from a feeling of 
fraternal revenge. However that may be, the murderer and 
his companions sought to evade the consequences of this 
deed, by flying to the wilds of the Amur. At Kirensk 
Chernigovsky forcibly took the Hieromonakh Yermoghen 
(Hermogenes), who three years before (1663) had founded 
the Troitsk monastery ; and on arriving at the Tugir river 


his band mustered eighty-four men. Fifteen of these, while} 
on a plundering expedition, were slain by the Tunguzians. 
In the winter our adve nturers crosse d the mountains , and 
"Settled upon the site of Albaza's village, one of the old iorts 
o f La^EtiT 'TfflTKBfSoiPw^ ; tne TBounfauH 

ranges towards the north kept off the cold winds, and. 
European cereals and plants could be cultivated with advan- : 
tage. The fort was made of wood. It formed a parallelo- 
gram of one hundred and twenty-six feet by ninety. Two 
towers faced the water, and one stood towards the land; 
beneath the latter the entrance gate led into the fort. The 
whole was surrounded by a ditch, and further protected by 
chevaux-de-frise and foot-traps. The stores stood within 
the enclosure, but the ordinary dwelling houses of the 
garrison lay beyond. Yermoghen founded here the church 
of the Resurrection of Christ (Voskresenie Khristof). 

In China, where Kang-hi, the greatest of the Manchu 
emperors, had ascended the throne in 1662, the re-appearance 
of the Russians on the Amur at once attracted notice, and 
a letter arrived at Nerchinsk in 1670, complaining of the 
encroachments of the Cossacks at Albazin, without, however, 
requiring that station itself to be evacuated. Milovanof was 
sent to Peking with a reply ; he was presented to the emperor , 
la den with, rich gifts, and returned ^o IN eWMBsT^c c^panied 
by a mandarin an'J'sixfy-five HTinese soldiers. 

The fugitives at Albazin were reinforced by other parties ; 
and after some time, the tribute taken from the natives was 
regularly sent to Nerchinsk.* In 1671 Ivan Okolkof was 
sent from Nerchinsk, to assume the chief command. At his 
instigation the Hieromonakh Yermoghen built a monastery 
dedicated to "Our Saviour " (Spas Vsemiloetivi), at a place 
called Brusyaenoi Kamen, a short distance above the settle- 
ment. It was proposed subsequently to build a cathedral 

• In 1672, the tribute collected amounted to four «oroks of sables. 


goy ernmei 
I \ \ a nairs of 


dedicated to the Archangel Michael, and a chapel of " Our 
Lady of Vladimir," projects never carried out. In the same 
year, and in that following, 1672, peasants arrived to till the 
soil. They built several villages, amongst which Pokrov- 
skaya Sloboda, a few versts below Albazin, was the most 
important. The other villages were Panova, Soldatovo, and 
Andrushkina, the latter at the mouth of the Burinda. .The 
go vernment at Moscow, just then engaged in a war with 
and and Turkey, coula p ay but slight attention to the 
the Amur . Tne Cossacks sought to attract; its 
attention by spreading a false report, in 1671, about a large 
Chinese force having crossed the dividing range and built a 
fortress on the Tugir. At Yakutsk, there were, at that time, 
but two serviceable guns, and the rumoured invasion was 
reported to Moscow. Simultaneously with this false intelli- 
gence a petition arrived at Moscow, signed by one hundred 
and one of the garrison at Albazin, and praying for a pardon 
for Chernigovski, in consideration of the services rendered 
by him subsequent to his offence. A couple of days how- 
ever before the arrival of this petition at the capital, judg- 
ment had been recorded against him (15th March, 1672). 
Himself, his sons, and several others were found guilty: in 
all, seven persons were condemned to death; forty-seven 
were to undergo various sentences. Out of regard, however, 
to the critical state of affairs on the Amur, this decision was 
reversed, and the bearers of the petition returned with 2000 
rubles (£300) as a present to the garrison of Albazin. 

any Tunguzians in the neighbourhood of Albazin, who 
had formerly been tributary, were again subjected, and this, 
it was feared at Moscow, might lead to fresh difficulties with 
the Chinese. To prevent it, an envoy was to be sent to 
China. Nicolas Spafarik, a Greek, was selected for this 
office. He left Moscow in 1675, accompanied by a large 
retinue. Op h,fo ar rival at yqitsikar h eis sajd- to -igye 
admitted to a Chinese functionary, that the Eussians had no 


lep al claim whatever to the Dzeva. At Peking, Spafarik made 
a favourable impression upon the Jesuit fathers by his learn- 
ing. At first he insisted upon delivering his letters into 
the Emperor's own hand; but fearing his mission might 
prove a failure, he allowed himself to be persuaded that such 
was not the custom of the country. The letters were then 
received by a Chinese official at the foot of the Emperor's 
throne, and opened in the ambassador's presence. On hfa 
return journey (1676) Spafarik sent word to the Russian ^ 

at Albazin. both from Tsits^a^ ^i\ ffffly.ln'nftlr. Tin*, jmy 

tmi fyftr tr> ravine the lower Amur and the D zeya, nor to 
collect tribute from the Tunyizians dwelling along Ine \ 

l atter. 

These orders however were not heeded. In that very 
year (1676), a Yashnoi Simovie had been built at the mouth 
of the Gilui, whence parties started on foot for the upper 
Dzeya to collect tribute. But owing to the difficulties which 
such journeys on foot offered, it was resolved to detach a party 
of seventy-one Cossacks and Promyshleni, commanded by 
Fedka Ostafeva, to built a fort on the upper Dzeya. They 
selected the mouth of the Numisha (Amumish) rivulet as a 
suitable spot, and built Zeisko Ostrog in 1678. In the same 
year, one hundred and eighty-one sables were sent thence 
as tribute to Albazin, and the tribes of the Ailagir, Tonki 
and Kautagen made their submission ; their example being 
followed by the Uligari and Magiri. The chief of the latter 
gave permission to build a fort on the Selimba river (Selim- 
binskoi Ostrog). This was done in 1679 ; and a second fort, 
Dolonskoi Ostrog, at the mouth of the Dolonza rivulet, was 
established in the same year. 

The Russian settlements on the Dzeya had hitherto been 
merely small stations for facilitating the collection of tribute. 
In 1681, however, the Voivod of Nerchinsk, Fedor Demenshe- 
vitz Voikof, entrusted to the Boyar Zin Ignatius Milovanof 
the task of exploring the Dzeya and Selimba rivers, with 





a view to the formation of some settlements on a larger 
scale. Milovanof describes the country around Dolonsk as 
highly fertile and productive. Rich pastures extended along 
the Dzeya as far as the firianda river. The old fort of 
Zeisk (Verkhe Zeisk) had been washed away by the river, 
but at the request of the Ulagiri Tunguzians, Milovanof 
rebuilt it at a site a little below the Brianda. A small place 
Kaja was situated at the mouth of the Dzeya, and half a 
day's ride down the Amur stood the small town of Aigun 
(Gaigun), which formerly occupied only 2*70 acres, but had 
lately been increased to 13 # 5. It was defended by a square 
fort of 2*70 acres in the centre, the walls of which were 
twelve to eighteen feet high. b The surrounding land was 
fertile, and a considerable traffic was carried on with the 
Manchu, who ascended the Amur in boats, but landed about 
half a day's journey lower down. The inhabitants were 
not able to afford any information regarding the origin of 
the place. There was a road, passable for horses, from 
Dolonsk to the mouth of the Dzeya, which could be travelled 
over in four days. Thence, following the course of the 
Amur, Albazin could be reached on foot in three weeks. 

In 1682 Milovanof sent in a report of his exploration, 
accompanied by a map. He proposed therein to found a 
town, either at the mouth of the Dzeya or in the neighbour- 
hood of Aigun, positions very favourably situated for carry- 
ing on commerce with China. The government did not, 
however, enter upon any new undertaking; but resolved 
merely to strengthen the old settlements. Milovanof was 
ordered to establish himself at Selimbinsk, and reinforce- 
ments were sent to him from Albazin to fortify that 
place. He was to collect tribute in the name of the emperor. 
The trade in furs was forbidden to him ; but as a special mark 

b The remains of the earthen walls may still be seen ; the outer 
enceinte encloses, however, thirty-three acres, and the square in the 
centre five acres English. 


of favour he was permitted to deal in brandy, beer, bread, 
and tobacco. The settlements on the Dzeya and Silimja were 
declared independent of Albazin, and Milovanof reported 
direct to Nerchinsk. Strangers were to be received hos- 
pitably, and every protection was to be afforded to their 
enterprises, and so forth. 

A proposed expedition to the Gilyaks at the mouth of the 
Amur, entrusted by the Voivod of Nerchinsk to Senotrussof, 
was not carried out, owing to disputes at Albazin, to which 
place Voykof had sent his son Andrei, as governor, in the 
spring of 1682. The garrison of two hundred men asked for 
their pay ; and as there was no money in the public treasury, 
they insisted upon sables belonging to government being 
sold. Voykof went himself to quell these disturbances. 
Whilst there, Gavrilo Frolof requested permission to go 
with a party of Cossacks and Promyshleni to the rivers 
Bureya (Bystra) and Amgun (Khamun), which had just 
then become known, and the tribes along which were inde- 
pendent alike of Chinese and Russians. The Voivod granted 
the desired permission ; but relented on his- return to Ner- 
shinsk, fearing a collision with the Chinese. He sent 
counter-orders to Albazin ; but the governor there, who had 
been chosen by the Cossacks, either would not, or could not, 
carry them out ; and Frolof departed with sixty-one men. c 
He made his way to the Amgun, and built a Yasoshnoi 
Simovie at the mouth of the Duka or Dukika rivulet, which 
he called Ust Dukikanskoi. Shortly before him a party of 
Cossacks and Promyshleni had come from Tugursk, and 
built a Simovie at the mouth of the Nemilen rivulet. Both 
parties joined, took a few hostages from amongst the natives 

e According to Witsen, p. 3, Gavrilo Frolof and sixty men mutinied 
at Ilimsk. They slew the governor and fled for safety to the Amur. 
Information of this outrage may partly account for Voykof 's reluc- 
tance to allow Frolof to depart. 



and repulsed with little loss to themselves a body of three 
hundred Natki and Gilyaks, who were on the road to Tugursk 
to destroy that fort, probably at the instigation of the 
At the close of 1682 the Russian settlements on the 
, Amur and its tributaries were as follow : — 

Albazin, and a number of villages in its vicinity, on the 
Upper Amur. 

Novo Seisk, Selimbinskoi Ostrog, and Dolonskoi on the 
( Dzeya. 

: Dukikanskoi on the Amgun; Tugursk and Udsk at 
rivulets falling into the sea of Okhotsk. 






The successful re-occupation of the northern tributaries of 
the Amur, and the prosperous condition of Albazin, where 
about 2,700 acres of land had been brought into cultivation, 
roused the attention of the Chinese. In the summer of 
1683, preparatory to undertaking military operations on a 
large scale, they threw a strong garrison into Aigun, and 
fortified an Island of the Amur, two miles above that 

A detachment of sixty-seven Cossacks, commanded by 
Gregory Mylnikof and intended for the reinforcement of 
Frolof, on the Am gun, left Albazin on the 17th July, 1683 ; 
but were intercepted at the Dzeya by a large Chinese force 
in five hundred and sixty small boats (busses) each of which 
carried twenty men, supported by several thousand horse- 
men on land. a The Russians landed on the northern bank 
of the river, and Mylnikof by invitation of the Chinese 
general crossed over to the other bank to have a conference. 
• Witeen, p. 96, says 15,000. 



He was, however, treacherously made prisoner. His men 
in presence of such superior numbers lost heart; some of 
them voluntarily surrendered to the Chinese and were sent 
prisoners to Peking ; others fled to the Russian settlements 
on the Dzeya and Selimba, where they spread the report of 
a large Chinese army ; and a few only returned to Albazin, 
arriving at the beginning of August. The Chinese, without 
loss of time, ascended the Dzeya ; the settlements of Dolonskoi 
and Selimbinskoi Ostrog they found deserted, and they had 
nothing to do but burn down the houses. The garrison of 
Novo Zeisk however, not having been warned of their 
approach, were surprised and made prisoners. The Russians 
of the Amgun also abandoned their settlement, retired down 
the Amur, and reached Udskoi by sea ; but the garrison at 
Tugursk fell into the hands of the Chinese. 

In fact, at the close of 1683, the whole of the Russian 
settlements on the lower Amur and its tributaries had been 
destroyed, and Albazin alone remained. 

Early in 1684, two Russian prisoners were sent back from 
Peking, with a letter to the governor of Albazin. This letter 
on its arrival at Aigun had been translated by some Russian 
deserters. In it promises and threats were held out to induce 
the garrison to surrender, but failed in their effect. On its 
receipt, Ivan Voilochnikof, a common Cossack then governor, 
assembled the garrison, and read the letter ; but all declared 
in favour of defending the place. Aid and ammunition were 
solicited from Siberia. A new governor, Alexei Tolbusin 
arrived in June ; and then Albazin, at the height of its 
prosperity, and on the eve of its fall, received a coat of 
arms, representing a spread eagle holding a bow and arrow 
in its talons. 

Early in 1 685 the Manchu advanced towards Albazin. Tol- 
busin on their approach ordered the neighbouring villages 
to be evacuated, and the forty dwelling houses standing 
beyond the fort to be burnt down. The garrison, including 


Cossacks, merchants, Promyshleni and peasants, numbered 
four hundred and fifty men ; their arms consisted of three 
hundred muskets and three small cannons. Reinforcements 
were however expected almost daily. Large supplies of 
ammunition and other warlike stores were known to have 
left Yeniseisk. Afanei Beiton, a Prussian nobleman for- 
merly in the Polish service, and who had been made prisoner 
I and exiled to Siberia, had organised a regiment of Cossacks 
at Tobolsk, six hundred men strong, and was expected to 
arrive in the early part of the year. The resources left at 
the disposal of Tolbusin were, however, evidently insufficient 
to resist a prolonged siege. 

The Chinese forces ascended the Amur in one hundred 
large boats. They were in all about 18,000 men, including 
those who came by land. Their arms consisted of bows and 
y sabres, and they brought with them fifteen guns, from five to 
eight-pounders, of European manufacture, besides some long 
tubes, weighing about fifteen pounds, with a touch-hole at 
the side, and which were carried on horseback. 6 

On the 4th of June the advanced guard of the Chinese 
arrived and seized some cattle. The first boats arrived at 
the first village below Albazin on the 10th; and on the 
ensuing day, the Chinese general sent in a demand for sur- 
render, written in Manchu, Russian and Polish, and pro- 
mising the greatest leniency if his demand were complied 
with. No attention was paid to this summons; and the 
'bombardment commenced on the 12th. During the first few 
days the Russians lost one hundred men. Yermoghen, with 
crucifix in hand, encouraged the Cossacks by word and 
deed. c 

b "Witsen, p. 65. Muller, ii. p. 386, speaks of one hundred and fifty 
pieces of field-artillery," and forty to fifty siege -guns ! 

c After the destruction of Albazin Yermoghen retired to Kirensk, 
where he died ; and in 1788 a stone monument was erected to his 
memory in the Monastery of Troitzk, which he had founded there. 


The wooden walls and towers of the fort had sustained 
considerable damage, and ammunition began to fail. There 
appeared no chance of carrying the defence to a successful 
issue ; and the inhabitants, headed by Yermoghen, the 
founder and superintendent of the Spaskoi Monastery, which 
had been but just completed, and the priest of the church of 
the " Resurrection " petitioned the governor on the 22nd, to 
make terms with the Chinese for a free retreat to Nerchinsk. 
Tolbusin saw himself compelled to accede to this request ; a 
deputation was sent to the Chinese general, and the terms of 
surrender arranged. The garrison were permitted to leave 
with their arms and baggage ; but twenty-five of them pre- 
ferred going over to the Chinese. 

Scarcely a day's journey above Albazin, the retreating 
garrisons met the long-expected reinforcements : one hundred 
men, with two brass and three iron cannons, .three hundred 
muskets, and plenty of ammunition. They had left Nerchinsk 
on the 23rd June ; Beiton's regiment had just arrived at 
Nerchinsk, and several of his men were amongst them. Had 
they come twenty-four hours sooner, the fall of Albazin 
might have been averted; as it was, all returned to 

The Chinese followed the retreating Russians at a distance, 
as far as the river Argun. On their return to Albazin they 
burnt the fort and dwelling houses, but left the fields 
untouched. They then retired down the Amur, evacuated 
Aigun, which was situated on the left bank of the river, 
and removed the town to the right bank, three miles lower 
down to the site of Tolga's village. The new town was 
surrounded by a double row of palisades, eighteen feet high, 
and twelve feet distant from each other. The space between 
the two rows was filled up with earth to the height of six 
feet. The circumference of the whole was 1,200 yards. A 
well was in the centre. Two thousand or 2,500 men, with 
thirty cannons, were left as a garrison, and five hundred 


men to till the soil ; the bulk of the army withdrew up the 
Sungari. Female settlers were expected in the summer of 

We will now return to the Russians on the Upper Amur. 
Ivan Vlassof had been appointed Yoivod of Nerchinsk in 
1684 ; he was not a man to lose courage through a catastrophe, 
such as the surrender of Albazin. The arrival of Beiton's 
regiment had placed at his disposal a force larger than any 
Voivod possessed before him, and he was fully resolved not 
to surrender the Amur without another struggle. Five days 
after Tolbusin had returned with the garrison of Albazin, 
he sent down the river seventy men to reconnoitre the 
vicinity of the deserted fortress. They came back on the 
7 th August, after an absence of seventeen days. On the 
ruins of Albazin they found a solitary Chinaman, who owing 
to some mishap had been compelled to fly the companionship 
of his own countrymen. According to his account the 
Chinese had retired to Aigun. 

Without loss of time, Beiton with two hundred men was 
despatched to Albazin. He was followed by Tolbusin, who 
at the request of the former inhabitants was again appointed 
governor. The whole of the forces then at his disposal 
amounted to six hundred and seventy-one men, with five 
brass and three iron cannons, and ample military stores. 
Further reinforcements followed. 

They at once set about gathering in the harvest, but all of 
it could not be secured, as many hands were required to 
rebuild the fort, and erect habitations for the winter. The 
enclosure of the fort was formed by a wall, cleverly constructed 
of loam, grass, and the roots of trees. At the foot, this wall 
was twenty-eight feet thick, and on the llth of October it 
had been raised to the height of ten feet. The approach of 
winter put a stop to the progress of the works, but in spring 
they were resumed with renewed vigour. The wall was 
raised to twenty feet. A house for the governor had been 


built inside the enclosure, and ten others for the garrison 
outside, but owing to the want of building materials more 
could not be done at the time. The fields were attended to, 
but not with that care, which a less fertile soil would have 
required. In the spring of 1686, rye and oats fetched nine 
copecks the pud; wheat, twelve copecks; peas and hempseed, 
thirty copecks ; barley grits, twenty-five copecks. d 

During the autumn, the settlers were kept in a state of 
inquietude by hostile parties lurking about the place. Tun- 
guzians, who voluntarily brought in their tribute, were 
suspected of acting as spies of the Chinese. Several attempts 
to take one of the Manchu prisoner failed, and Tolbusin, 
desirous to be informed of the movements of the Chinese, 
sent Beiton with three hundred men to the Kamara (March, 
1686), to gain some information regarding their whereabouts. 
Beiton encamped at the mouth of the Kamara on the 12th. 
On the 17 th he espied a troop of forty Manchu horsemen in 
the direction of Tsitsikar, and at once gave orders to pursue 
them. After a hot chase of thirty versts, he came up with 
them ; in the skirmish, which ensued, he lost seven men, but 
killed thirty Manchu, and took one of them, Kevutei or 
Govodeiko, prisoner. Through him Beiton learned that the 
Chinese governor at Tsitsikar had heard of the reconstruction 
of Albazin from some Targachins, who had been molested 
by Albazinian Cossacks whilst on the chase. The governor 
then sent out some people, who succeeded in kidnapping a 
Russian peasant, who confirmed the statements made by the 
Targachins. At that very time a Manchu army was marching 
upon Albazin. 

Beiton at once returned to Albazin. The fort was put in 
a state of defence. The garrison numbered seven hundred 
and thirty-six men — a large force to be lodged for a long 

d At Nerchinsk, rye-flour 34 guilders a pud; wheat 4 guilders a 
pud, and meat about 48 stuivers a pud. 


period in the mud-houses of the small fort. Their material 
consisted of eight cannons, one mortar, thirty large shells, 
four hundred and forty hand-grenades and an ample supply 
of powder and shot. 

The Chinese forces advanced by land and water. About 
3,000 horsemen approached along the left bank of the 
river; and being well acquainted with the country, they 
came upon the Albazinians quite unexpectedly (7th July). 
They surprised some horseherds on the fields, and out of 
thirty they killed or made prisoners twenty-two. Those 
who escaped were not able to reach the fort, but fortunately 
met with a detachment of seventy Cossacks who had been sent 
to watch the siege, and with whom they returned to Nerchinsk. 
Another party of twenty Russians were similarly surprised. 
The fort was soon surrounded ; the fields were laid waste, 
and the crops destroyed. On the river the Chinese came 
on in one hundred and fifty barges, each carrying from 
twenty to forty men. Six of these barges were laden with 
ammunition and two with arrows. The Chinese had forty 
cannons, and twenty Europeans in the guise of Chinamen 
assisted in working them. Many Tunguzians from the 
neighbourhood joined the forces of the Chinese, and proved 
formidable bowmen. 

The Chinese immediately seized upon the Russian boats. 
One general fixed his head-quarters on the island opposite 
Albazin, and in front of the mouth of the river Albazikha ; 
another on the right bank of the river above the fort ; and 
the third on the left bank below it. The branch of the 
Amur protected * by the island served as a harbour. The 
Chinese encampments were at a distance of four hundred 
yards only, and* the batteries at sixty yards. The wooden 
abaitis, with which the Chinese sought to protect themselves, 
took fire, and was subsequently replaced by earthworks and 
ditches surrounding the whole of the fort, and forming 
regular parallels. On the 1st of September the Chinese 



attempted to cany the place by assault, but were beaten 
back with great slaughter, and in five sorties which the 
garrison subsequently made many Chinese were killed and 
several taken prisoners. Tolbusin was mortally wounded 
towards the end of September whilst reconnoitring the 
Chinese forces from one of the towers, and the command 
devolved upon Beiton. The garrison had not however 
suffered hitherto any heavy loss, but owing to the dampness 
of their underground habitations and other privations, dis- 
eases broke out, amongst the most destructive of which was 
the scurvy. By the end of November the garrison was 
reduced to one hundred and fifteen men. Ample provisions 
for another year remained, but only four hundred and 
eighty pounds of powder. Notwithstanding this sad state 
of affairs, the offers by the Chinese of a free retreat, in case 
of a surrender, and promotion to deserters, conveyed into 
the fort by means of letters affixed to arrows were 
rejected. Two messengers had been sent in October to 
Nerchinsk for relief, but the boat was unfortunately broken 
by the ice, and they arrived only after great difficulty at 
their place of destination. No aid could however be afforded 
at that time. 

At the end of November the interference of diplomacy 
made itself felt at Albazin. The Chinese, on the last day of 
that month, received orders to retire three versts from the 
fortress — orders which they hailed with pleasure, as they, 
as well as the Russians, had suffered a great deal from in- 
fectious diseases. On the 6th May 1687 the Chinese with- 
drew another verst. During this truce the beleaguered 
were at liberty to leave the fort, to buy provisions and other 
necessaries, to send to Nerchinsk, and even to admit rein- 
forcements. The Chinese offered to send surgeons to the 
fort ; but Beiton, who had only sixty-six men with him, 
assured them everything was going on well ; and to convince 
the Chinese general that he did not suffer, at all events, 


from want of provisions, he had a large pie made, weighing a 
pud, and sent it him as a present. 

On the 30th August, 1687, the Chinese left Albazin 
altogether, and returned to their former quarters at Tsitsikar 
and Aigun. The Russians rebuilt their villages, and culti- 
vated their fields anew. They were not however permitted 
to hunt, as the Chinese looked upon this as an infringement 
of their rights of sovereignty. 

We will now turn to the diplomatic transactions which 
brought about the peace of 1689. 




The daily increasing complications with the Chinese, made 
it appear desirable at Moscow to come to some arrangement 
/ regarding the frontiers of the two empires. The Chancellor 
I Nikifor Venukof, accompanied by Ivan Fafarof, was sent to 
} arrange preliminaries. He left Moscow on the 1 1th December 
1685, arrived at Peking in 1686, and brought back with 
him a letter for the two emperors. At Peking he also 
succeeded in inducing the Emperor to send a few Chinese 
officials and Ivan Fafarof to Albazin, to stay the siege. 
This, as stated above, actually took place on the 30th 
November, 1686. The original of the letter was written in 
Chinese, Manchu, and Mongol, and translated into Latin by 
the Romish Missionaries at Peking. Though addressed to 
the " Great white Lords, Brethren, Tsars, and Autocrats," 
its contents were first to be communicated to the Governor of 

As this letter conveys a good idea of the Chinese manner 
of thinking with regard to Russian operations on the 
Amur, we reproduce it here in extenso. It is dated 20th 
November, 1686— 

" The officers to whom I have entrusted the supervision of 
the sable-hunt, have frequently complained of the injury 
which the people of Siberia (Sokha) do to our hunters on the 
Amur, and particularly to the JDucheri. My subjects have 
never provoked yours, nor done them any injury ; yet the 
people at Albazin, armed with cannons, guns, and other fire- 


arms, have frequently attacked my people, who had no fire- 
arms, and were peaceably hunting. Moreover, they gave 
shelter to our deserters ; and when my Superintendent of the 
Chase followed some deserters of Kandagan to Albazin, and ; 
demanded their surrender, Alexei, Ivan, and others, re- ! 
sponded, that they could not do this, but must first apply to 
the Changa Khan for instructions. As yet, no answer haef 
been vouchsafed to our inquiries, nor have the deserters been* 
given up. 

" In the mean time, my officers on the frontier have in- 
formed me of your Russians having carried off some peace- 
able hunters as prisoners ; for instance, Kelera, Solona, and 

" They also roved about the Lower Amur, and troubled 
and injured the small town of Genquen, and other places. 
As soon as I heard of this, I ordered my officers to take up 
arms, and act as occasion might require. They, accordingly, 
made prisoners of the Russians who were roving about the 
Lower Amur ; no one was put to death, but all were pro- 
vided with food. When our people arrived before Albazin ' 
and called upon it to surrender, Alexei and others, without 
deigning a reply, treated us in a hostile manner, and fired off ■ 
muskets and cannons. We therefore took possession of Albazin ', 
by force ; but even then we did not put any one to death. We * 
liberated our prisoners; but more than forty Russians, of 
their own free choice, preferred remaining amongst my 
people. The others we exhorted earnestly to return to their 
own side of the frontier, where they might hunt at pleasure. 
My officers however had scarcely left, when four hundred 
and sixty Russians returned, rebuilt Albazin, killed our 
hunters, and laid waste their fields, thus compelling my 
officers to have recourse to arms again. 

" Albazin consequently was beleaguered a second time ; ; 
but orders were nevertheless given to spare the prisoners, ; 
and restore them to their own country. Since then, Venukof 


and others have arrived at Pekin, to announce the approach 
of an ambassador, and to propose a friendly conference to 
settle the boundary question, and induce the Chinese to raise 
the siege of Albazin. On this, a courier was sent at once to 
Albazin, to put a stop to further hostilities." 
' Fedor Alexevitch Golovin, the envoy extraordinary, left 
Moscow on the 20th of January, 1686, accompanied by Ivan 
Zin Vlasof, and the secretary Semon KornitskL His escort 
was formed by a regiment of Regular Militia (Strelzi), 1500 
strong and commanded by Colonel Fedor Skripizin. The 
Colonels Paul Grabof and Anton von Smalenberg were to 
command two other regiments to be raised in* Siberia. 
A Stolnik, Alcxei Sinyavin, and five attaches increased the 
splendour of the embassy. Ivan Loginof was sent forward 
to announce at Peking the actual departure of the embassy ; 
on this, the Chinese army before Albazin received orders to 
retire to Aigun, which they did on the 30th August, 1687. 
In consequence of some information which Golovin received 
at Yeniseisk regarding Albazin, he sent in advance Lieutenant 
Bagatiref and some troops. He then continued his journey 
to Bybenskoi, where he wintered (1686-7). In the ensuing 
summer the embassy proceeded to Udinsk, and arrived on 
the 28th September ; but they had scarcely set out from this 
place for Nerchinsk, when an express brought news of the 
retreat of the Chinese from Albazin. This information induced 
Golovin to return to Udinsk and continue his journey to Selen- 
ginsk, whence he sent Stephen Korovin, one of the attaches, to 
announce his arrival, and request the Chinese authorities to 
fix upon a place at which the proposed conference might 
come off. The monotony of the winter-quarters was some- 
what relieved by an attack of a Mongol army, 15,000 strong. 
Golovin at the time had only two hundred men with him, 
the remainder having been distributed amongst the villages 
along the Selinga river. Still he repelled this attack. In 


consequence of this and other minor defeats, 50,000 Mongol 
families acknowledged themselves Russian subjects. 

Korovin returned from his mission to Peking on the 28th 
June, 1688. Selenginsk had been chosen as the seat for the 
conference, and the Chinese plenipotentiaries were at that 
very time on the way towards it. This embassy had in 
fact left Peking on the 20th May, accompanied by Thomas 
Pereyra, a Portuguese, and Gerbillon, a French Jesuit, as 
w interpreters, sixty to seventy mandarins, 1000 horsemen, 
eight small cannons, and a tremendous crowd of servants. 
At this period the Mongols were not yet subject to the sway 
of China, and the wars between the Kalkas and Eluths 
Vendangered the onward progress of the embassy. On reference 
to Peking the embassy was ordered to return to the frontiers 
of the empire ; but before doing so a letter was dispatched 
to Golovin, then at Udinsk, acquainting him with the reason 
for the non-appearance of the embassy. The messengers 
returned on the 30th August, and brought a letter from 
Golovin, written in Russian and Latin. Golovin therein 
expressed an earnest desire to come to a final settlement 
regarding the frontiers, and not allow his time to be wasted 
in trifles or fruitless discussions. In conformity with the 
Tzar's wishes, everything should be done to promote the con- 
cluding of an honourable peace ; and as a meeting during 
the current year appeared impossible, he would pass the 
winter near the frontier, in expectation of a more suitable 
locality being agreed upon. In order to facilitate the making 
of suitable arrangements, he resolved to send to Peking a 
gentleman of his suite, who would be treated, he hoped, with 
all due courtesy. 

This envoy, accompanied by sixty-three persons, arrived 
at Peking on the 13th May, 1689, and made a very favour- 
able impression upon the Jesuits whose convent he visited. 
He bore a letter addressed to the Minister of the Empire, 
requesting him to fix a place near the frontier, where the 


conference might be held. He also desired to know the 
number of persons who were to accompany the Chinese 
embassy, so that he might appear with an equal force, and 
trusted the usages of civilised states would be observed. On 
the 18th May the envoy received his answer; Nerchinsk 
was chosen as the place of conference, the embassy would 
leave Peking on the 3rd June, and their suite was not to 
exceed the number requisite for their personal safety. Sub- 
sequently, however, an express was sent to Udinsk, to 
announce that some barges also with provisions would ascend 
the Amur. Golovin was nevertheless not prepared to find 
the Chinese as numerous as they actually turned out to be. 
i On the 13th June, 1689, the Chinese ambassadors So-fan- 
llan-ya and Kiw-Kijew left Peking with 1400 soldiers, 
numerous servants, and the Jesuit fathers Gerbillon and 
Pereyra as interpreters. On reaching the Kherlon river 
(6th July), they sent a messenger in advance to inform 
Vlasof, the governor of Nerchinsk, of their approach. On 
the 11th July they arrived opposite Nerchinsk, and the 
barges which had preceded them in great numbers, ranged 
themselves along the banks of the Shilka in front of the 
Chinese camp, hoisting their colours in honour of the 
plenipotentiaries. In addition to armed junks there were 
seventy-six barges, which carried sails, but could also be 
rowed, or towed up the river by boatmen. Three thousand 
men, of whom 1500 were soldiers, arrived by these barges, 
and if we add the 1400 soldiers who came by land, the 
Mandarins, servants, and camp followers, the force of the 
Chinese can not have been much short of 9000 or 10,000. 
They had from 3000 to 4000 camels, and at least 15,000 
horses. So-fkn alone had three hundred camels, five hundred 
horses, and one hundred personal attendants; Kiw-Kijew 
three hundred horses, one hundred and thirty camels, and 
eighty personal attendants. The governor of Nerchinsk 
naturally felt uneasy at the presence of so large a force. He 


declared himself quite satisfied with the conduct of the 
persons who had come by land, but bitterly complained of 
the people who had ascended the river, and had acted on the 
road as enemies rather than Mends. His fort had been sur- 
rounded, some fields had been devastated, and several Russians 
detained, from whom information was sought regarding the 
present whereabouts of the Solon Tatars, who had placed 
themselves under Russian protection. The Chinese Plenipo- 
tentiaries replied that the prior arrival of the boats was 
contrary to the Emperor's orders, and in order to remove 
any uneasiness, commanded them to retire a few versts. The 
Chinese patiently waited until the 1st August for Golovin's 
arrival, but then conveyed a letter to him through the 
governor of Nerchinsk, in which they expressed their sur- 
prise at not having heard from him, and hinted at the pos- 
sibility of being obliged to cross the river for want of forage 
(Nerchinsk stands on the left or northern bank of the Shilka). 
On the same day the governor of Nerchinsk presented the 
plenipotentiaries with ten oxen, and fifteen sheep, the former 
in the name of his emperor, the latter in his own. The 
three Russian officers who took this present, received each a 
piece of silk in return. On the following day, there arrived 
from Golovin a messenger, who alleged the bad state of the 
roads as the occasion of the delay. The nonchalance of this 
gentleman on embarrassing questions being put to him, sur- 
prised even the Chinese and their Jesuit interpreters. 

At length, on the 18th, Golovin himself arrived. Two 
days were spent in preliminary arrangements, and the con- 
ferences commenced on the 22nd. A large tent was pitched 
midway .between the fortress and the river, one half appro- 
priated to the Russians, the other to the Chinese. The 
Russian portion was covered with a handsome Turkey carpet. 
Golovin, and Vlasof, the governor of Nerchinsk, occupied 
arm-chairs placed behind a table, which was spread with a 
Persian silk, embroidered in gold. Upon this table stood a 


costly clock, and a writing desk. The secretary, Kornitzki, 
occupied a chair by the side of his principal. The Chinese 
portion was devoid of all ornament. The chiefs of the 
embassy, seven in number, sat upon pillows, placed upon a 
low bench. Behind them stood four Mandarins, and in 
front the Jesuit fathers. The remainder of the Mandarins 
and Russian officers were ranged along both sides of the 
tent. The Chinese had crossed the river with forty Mandarins 
and seven hundred and si^ty soldiers, five hundred of whom 
remained on the bank of the river, and two hundred and 
sixty advanced half-way to the tent. In a similar manner, 
five hundred Russians were placed close to the fort, and forty 
officers and two hundred and sixty soldiers followed the 

/The first conference opened with some questions of eti- 
quette. When these had been settled in a satisfactory 
manner, Golovin proposed the Amur as the future boundary 
between the two empires. To this the Chinese objected, on 
account of the fine sables which the tribes to the jiorth of 
that river paid as tribute ; and, in their turn, proposed to 
^the Russians to surrender Albazin, Nerchinsk and Selenginsk. 
Golovin of course was not prepared to make so great a con- 
cession, and the conference ended in a most unsatisfactory 
manner. In the second conference, the Chinese offered to 
permit the Russians to retain Nerchinsk, but simply as a 
trading post. This proposal was scouted like the first ; the 
Chinese left in high dudgeon, prepared to strike their tents, 
and refused any longer to confer with people who were un- 
willing to meet their wishes fairly. At the second conference, 
a Mongol acted as interpreter. Had the Jesuits been present, 
this rupture, no doubt, would have been avoided. They now 
did all in their power to bring about a reconciliation ; and, 
on a visit to Nerchinsk, declared that the Chinese certainly 
would not feel satisfied unless Albazin were ceded. A 
Russian officer visited the Chinese camp on the 26th, and 


the boundary as finally adopted was pointed out to him on 
a large map. Golovin however was not yet prepared to 
make this concession, and on the following day sent in an 
ultimatum, in which he still claimed Albazin and the sur- 
rounding country. On its receipt the Chinese called a grand 
council. It was resolved to surround Nerchinsk, to incite 
the neighbouring Tatars to revolt, and send men down the 
river to take Albazin. The Russians, on their side, prepared 
for defence ; the fortifications of Nerchinsk were strengthened, 
and the town was barricaded. 

Hostilities were not looked forward to with confidence by 
either party. The Russians would have certainly lost Al- 
bazin, the Chinese feared the reception they might meet 
with at Peking, should a fresh war break out. When there- 
fore a Russian interpreter crossed over to the Chinese camp 
to ask for renewed negotiations, they gladly availed them- 
selves of the opportunity. Father Gerbillon, invested with 
plenary powers to settle the points in dispute, was despatched 
to Golovin ; and on the 27th of August, succeeded in pre- 
liminarily drawing up the terms of the treaty. The Russians, 
on the following day, requested the insertion of an additional 
article, guaranteeing liberty of commerce between the two 
empires ; the Chinese however, though recognising such an 
arrangement as desirable, refused to insert it, as not bearing 
upon the settlement of the frontiers. 

At length, on the 29th August, the ratifications of the 
treaty were exchanged in a tent pitched for that purpose. 
The Chinese plenipotentiaries appeared in state ; the treaty 
was signed, sealed, and oaths taken for its maintenance. The 
philosophic Chinese even declared their willingness to swear 
upon the crucifix like Christians ; but this auto dafe was dis- 
pensed with. When copies in Manchu,- Russian and Latin, 
had been exchanged, the plenipotentiaries embraced each 
other; a splendid collation was served, and the company 
only separated an hour after dusk, and parted in the most 
friendly manner. ^ / 


The following is an abstract of the treaty : — 

" In order to suppress the insolence of certain scoundrels, 
who cross the frontier to hunt, plunder, and kill, and who 
give rise to much trouble and disturbance ; to determine 
clearly and distinctly the boundaries between the empires of 
China and Russia; and lastly, to re-establish peace and 
good understanding for the future, 

" The following articles are, by mutual consent, agreed 
upon : — a 

" 1. The boundary between the two empires is to be formed 
by the river Kerbechi, which is near the Shorna, called 
Union by the Tatars, and enters the Amur ; and the long 
chain of mountains extending from the sources of the 
Kerbechi to the Eastern Ocean. The rivers, or rivulets, 
which flow from the southern slope of these mountains and 
enter the Amur, as well as all territories to the south of these 
mountains will thus belong to China. 

" The territories, rivers, and rivulets, to the north of said 
mountain chain remain with the empire of Moscovy, 
excepting the country between the said summit and the river 
ITd, which shall be neutral until the Plenipotentiaries, after 
their return home, have received further instructions, when 
this point may be settled by letter or special envoy. 

" The boundary is further to be found by the river Argun, 
which enters the Amur ; the territories south of said river 
belong to the Emperor of China ; those north of it to the 
empire of Muscovy. The towns, or dwelling-houses, at 
present situated to the south of the Argun, shall be removed 
to the northern bank of the river. 

* As might be expected, the Russian version of this preamble differs 
considerably. It is as follows: — 

" The Plenipotentiaries, in order to remove all cause of discontent 
between the two empires, to conclude a permanent peace, and to settle 
the frontiers, agree, in their conference at Nerchinsk, to the following 


" 2. The fortress built by the Russians at a place called 
Yaksa (Albazin) shall be demolished, and the subjects of the 
Tzar residing there shall remove with their property to the 
Muscovite territory. 

" Hunters of either empire shall, under no pretence, cross 
the frontiers. 

" If only one or two persons cross the frontier to hunt, steal, 
or pilfer, they shall be arrested and given up to the nearest 
imperial officers, to be punished according to their deserts. 

" In case, however, armed parties of ten or fifteen persons 
cross the frontiers to hunt or plunder, or in case of any 
person being killed, a report shall be sent in to both 
emperors; and the parties found guilty shall be punished 
with death. On no account shall war be declared in conse- 
quence of any excess whatever committed by private 

" 3. Everything which has occurred hitherto is to be buried 
in eternal oblivion. 

" 4. Neither party shall receive fugitives or deserters from 
the date of this treaty. Subjects of either empire flying to 
the other shall be arrested and given up to the nearest 
authority on the frontier. 

" 5. Subjects of Moscovy now in China, or Chinese now in 
the empire of Moscovy, may remain where they are. 

" 6. In consideration of this present treaty of peace, and the 
reciprocal good understanding of the two empires, persons 
may pass from one empire to the other, provided they are 
furnished with passports, and they shall be permitted to 
carry on commerce, and to sell or purchase at pleasure. 

" Copies of the above treaty, properly signed and sealed, 
shall be exchanged by the Plenipotentiaries. The various 
articles of the treaty shall be engraved on stones in Tataric, 
Chinese, Russian, and Latin, to be erected on the frontiers 
between the two empires, as a permanent testimony to the 
good understanding subsisting between them." 


On the day following the exchange of ratifications, the 
plenipotentiaries exchanged presents. The first Chinese 
plenipotentiary received a handsome timepiece, a telescope, 
a silver basin and jug, gilt inside, and a costly robe of sables. 
The others were presented with watches, looking-glasses, and 
ornamental swords. Golovin received a black leather saddle, 
horse trappings, with gilt stirrups, two red horse tails, two 
gold cups, eight damask garments, thirty-two pieces of silk, 
and twelve silk pelangs. Gifts of a similar kind were pre- 
sented to his companions. The Chinese even talked about 
erecting a monument in honour of the event. 

On the 29th of August the Chinese left Nerchinsk by 
land and water. The stipulations regarding Albazin were 
carried out at once. Beiton, with the garrison and their 
property, returned to Nerchinsk, and the Chinese levelled 
the fort on descending the river. Tears afterwards, the 
corn could be seen growing on the fields of Albazin ; and 
late travellers have still found traces of the fort, and the 
Chinese batteries thrown up during the last siege. 

In the spring of 1690, Argunskoi Ostrog, which had pre- 
viously stood on the right bank of the Argun, was removed 
to its left bank. 

Before leaving Nerchinsk, Golovin strengthened its fortifi- 
cations considerably. He left behind him his cannons ; and 
some of his troops were left there, and at Selenginsk and 
Udinsk. On his return, he was met by Ivan Skripitsin, with 
letters from the Tsars, and a number of medals for his men, 
in recognition of the zeal shewn in the performance of his 
mission. Arrived at Moscow, he was created a Boyarin and 
Commissary-General of War. 




to 1848. 
a. — The Russo-Chinese Frontier. 

Apparently the boundary between the empires of Russia ] 
and China had been determined with great accuracy by the 
treaty of Nerchinsk. Such, however, was not the case as' 
regards the actual sovereignty of the tribes inhabiting these / 
frontier regions. The sole object attained by China — and . 
that, of course, was of paramount importance— was to exclude 
Russia from navigating the river. The Russo-Tunguzians 1 
dwelling along the boundary as fixed by treaty are moun- 
taineers, and their existence is inseparable from that of the 
reindeer, which finds food only in the moss-tracts of the 
Stanovoi Khrebet, whilst the Manyagers, the principal tribe 
subject to China, keep horses and confine themselves to the 
grassy valleys and prairies. Miiller, as early as 1 742, says 
that according to an old right of chase the Jakdu (Koekh- 
kaya) mountains were looked upon as the boundary separat- 
ing the tribes subject to Russia and China, and that both 
Russo-Tunguzians from the Ud and Aldan, and Chinese 
Tunguzians from the Silimji and Dzeya hunted together in 
these mountains. It thus happened that the Russian govern- 
ment received as tribute furs, which in reality had been 
procured on Chinese territory as defined by treaty. Thei 
Chinese themselves do not appear to have considered the 
country theirs up to the watershed*. At all events, Midden- 

* These boundary marks consist of heaps of stones, in the form of a 
pyramid. An inscription, carefully folded up in birch-bark, is left at 
each revision. At the portage mentioned, the inscription was placed in 
a hole cut in an old tree. Further details will be found in chap. 13. 



tlorf and TJsultzof on their late exploratory expeditions into 
these regions, found boundary monuments erected by the 
Chinese far to the south of the supposed limits, at the con- 
fflucnce of the Gilu and Dzeya, on the Nara, the Silimji, 
jNiman, and Bureya {see Map). The most eastern mark 
stood at the portage between the Ud and Tugur, and the 
tribes dwelling on these rivers considered the Torom, which 
falls into the XTd Bay, sea of Okhotsk, as separating their 
respective hunting-grounds. We do not know whether the 
Chinese in placing their boundary marks did so with 
especial reference to the wants of the various tribes inhabit- 
ing these regions, or whether we must ascribe their surren- 
dering so large a territory (23,000 square miles) rightfully their 
own, to ignorance of the country, or the indolence of the 

ffficials entrusted with carrying out the article of the treaty 
eferring to the erection of boundary marks. 
At another point, the Chinese are, however, accused of an 
.' encroachment, due entirely to the imperfect knowledge pos- 
sessed by the contracting parties regarding the geographical 
! features of the country thus parcelled out — a fertile source 
' of boundary disputes, as is shown by the constantly recurring 
difficulties with the United States government with respect 
to the British American frontier. By treaty the boundary 
ton the upper Amur was to commence at the mouth of the 
J" Gorbitza, which is near the Shorna." Unfortunately there 
are two Gorbitzas and two Shornas. One of these enters the 
Amur or Shilka about 119° E. of Greenwich; the other, 
v known also as Amazar, some ten miles below the confluence of 
the Argun with the Shilka. A Shorna river enters the Shilka 
eight miles above the upper Gorbitza, and a second Shorna, 
called Ura by the Tunguzians, and Urka by the Russians, 
enters the Amur fifteen miles below the Lower Gorbitza 
jor Amazar. There is scarcely any doubt the latter was the 
triver alluded to in the treaty, and on the map of China 
^ published by the Jesuits it is actually indicated as forming 


the boundary. Subsequently, however, the Chinese removed t 
their boundary stakes to the Upper Gorbitza, and the event 
which induced them to do this has been thus communicated 
by Baer, in " Biisching's Magazine," p. 488. Baer obtained 
this information during his stay at Irkutsk from a Cossack, 
who had participated in the transaction. 

At the time Pushkin was governor of Nerchinsk (1703 to 
1709), a Chinese deserter of Tunguzian origin, by name 
Shelesin, who in former times had joined the Russians at 
Albazin, but had been recaptured,«escaped for a second time 
and fled to the upper Gorbitza, where he lived under the 
protection of the Russians. When the Chinese heard of his 
presence on Russian territory they claimed his surrender as 
a deserter ; and the governor of Nerchinsk reluctantly sent 
some Cossacks to take him, and delivered him to the Chinese. 
Shelesin, however, evaded punishment by denying he ever 
quitted Chinese territory, inasmuch as the Gorbitza formed 
the boundary between the two empires. The Chinese were 
willing to believe him, and in the ensuing year Shelesin 
guided some officers to the upper Gorbitza, where they 
^erected a boundary monument. 

The regulations regarding the crossing of the frontier 
appear to have been carried out at first with consideiable 
rigour. Witsen (p. 74), for instance, tells us that in 1694 
four persons were beheaded at Nerchinsk at the request of 
the Chinese authorities, because they had been discovered 
hunting sables in the neighbourhood of Albazin. We can, 
however, scarcely believe in so severe a sentence being 
carried out, and think the individuals in question must have 
deserved their doom by committing an outrage commensurate 
in some degree with the punishment meted out to them. It 
is, however, an ascertained fact that many infringers of the 
boundary law were slain by the natives, who still nourished 
feelings of revenge against the Cossack freebooters of the 



( At the treaty concluded in 1728 by Count Sava Vladis- 
'lavich Ragusinsky, it was agreed upon that transgressors 
might under certain circumstances be punished with death. 
The Chinese Commissioners also proposed a mixed Com- 
imission, to settle the boundary near the sea of Okhotsk ; but 
jnothing was done in this matter. 

Subsequently, China appears to have been unwilling to 
resent infringements of the boundary, which became of 
frequent occurrence. The Russian surveyors Shobelzin and 
Shetilof in 1737-8 extended their labours to Chinese terri- 
tory at the instance of the Academician Miiller. On their 
first journey in 1737, they came to the sources of the Pendi 
rivulet, a tributary of the Gilu, where they found an empty 
winter hut (Zimovie) previously occupied by Russian 
hunters. Descending the Gilu, they found a second Zimovie 
also deserted, at the mouth of the Jeltula, and thirty-seven 
miles above the mouth of the Dzeya they met some in- 
habitants of Nerchinsk, who had gone there to hunt sables. 
They descended the Dzeya for twenty-five miles, but were 
obliged to return from want of provisions. On a second 
expedition in 1738, they descended the Amur to the mouth 
of the Bileton, forty miles below Albazin. On the site of 
Albazin a Cossack and a Russo-Tunguzian family had 
established themselves. The Cossack had once been taken 
prisoner by the Chinese ; but on stating he had lost his way, 
was ordered to go back to Nerchinsk. Twenty miles lower 
down there dwelt another family of Russo-Tunguzians. 
In 1805, on the occasion of Count Golovkin's mission to 
v China, it was proposed to send the Academicians Adams and 
^ Bogdanovich to explore the frontier, and General Auvrey 
\ was to explore the Amur ; but neither of these plans was 
carried out. A Major Stavitsky, however, descended the 
Amur to Albazin. Subsequently the botanist Turczaninow, 
author of the Flora Baicalensi-dahurica, investigated the 
l * banks of the Amur as far as Albazin. Colonel Ladyshinsky, 


in 1832, made the same journey with a view to find the 
boundary-mark said to have been placed by the Chinese 
at the Lower Gorbitza. He could not, however, discover it ; 
probably because it had been destroyed when they extended 
their frontier to the Upper Gorbitza. 

Of even more interest is the escape of several convicts 
from the Mines of Nerchinsk across the frontier, to Chinese 
territory. Middendorf mentions two such cases (iv. p. 155). 
In 1795 Rusinof and Serkof escaped, but were brought 
back ; and Guri Vasilief spent six years on the Amur, be- 
ween the years 1816 to 1825. The accounts of this fugitive 
have been verified by recent exploration. He descended the 
river to the mouth, and professes to have met many persons 
able to speak Russian (probably escaped exiles like himself). 
He describes a burning mountain situated on the right bank 
of the river, two hundred versts below Aigum. From 
fissured rocks of a bluish colour, smoke, and dense sul- 
phurous vapours rose here, and at night settled down upon 
the river. Now and then there were explosions like the 
discharge of a gun, but without any vibration of the 
ground. b Vasilief, no doubt, is the fugitive referred to by 
Atkinson in his Travels on the Upper and Lower Amur, 
p. 416 ; and who, having been sent by the Russian govern- 
ment to explore the country to the south of the Amur, never 
returned, and was either killed by the natives, or voluntarily 
remained among the Chinese ; who according to his own 
statement had on a former journey asked him to become a 
Chinese subject. Vasilief was evidently a man of education, 
as is testified by the accounts he gave of the river explored 
by him. 

Middendorf also makes a statement regarding a fugitive, 
who in 1841 resided at the mouth of the Amur — a state- 
ment corroborating the account of the escape of three Polish 

b This was, probably, some burning coal deposit. Coals have been 
discovered on the right bank of the Amur, above the Bureya mountains. 


exiles published by Atkinson (p. 494). These exiles fled in 
1839, and in 1841 visited with their Tnnguzian hunting 
companions the fair or market annually held at the village 
of Pul on the lower part of the river. They proceeded 
thence with a Japanese (AinoP) trader to the island of 
Sakhalin, where one of them died. The others espied an 
American whaler by whom they were taken to the United 
States. About ten years after this had happened, one of the 
Poles came to Paris, and found means of imparting his 
successful escape to his companions in misery still in Siberia. 
It was from one of these latter Atkinson obtained the par- 
ticulars communicated. 

We have yet to state the manner in which the Chinese, in 
accordance with Article 6 of the Treaty, inspected the 
boundary. Annually in the summer the Chinese officials 
ascend the Amur on five large barges, preceded by two 
canoes, upon which are drummers to announce their approach. 
The barges are each towed up the stream by five men on the 
bank, who are relieved three times a day ; and altogether 
there are about seventy to eighty persons. The journey as 
far as TJst Strelka occupies about forty days. Two of the 
barges remain here on the opposite Chinese bank of the 
river, where a frontier stone stands ; the others continue their 
voyage up the Shilka as far as Gorbitza. Here they exchange 
presents with the commander of this Russian station ; hire 
horses, and ride to the boundary pyramid which stands 
twenty miles above the mouth of that river. 

On -their return to TJst Strelka they await the detachment 
coming down the Argun, and in the meantime carry on 
some bartering trade with the Cossacks. The Argun is 
inspected by two parties. The first starts from Tsitsikar, 
and proceeds to the Argun, where this river enters Russian 
territory, and descends it to the village of Olochi, close to 
Nerchinskoi Zavod. Here they meet with the second detach- 
ment, of about twelve men, from Mergen, and who continue 


the inspection of the boundary as far as Ust Strelka. There 
they join the larger party, who have come up the Amur, 
and the whole then descend the river. In their footsteps 
follow the Cossacks, to collect tribute from the Oronchon, 
to carry on the fur trade, and to gather grass for the winter 
along the banks of the river. The Russian peasants also 
cross the boundary to hunt squirrels, and are known to have 
extended their excursions nearly as far as the Kamara. 

The frontier pyramid at the confluence of the Gilu and 
Dzeya is examined every three years, and those on the 
Bureya annually. 

b. — The Russian Mission at Peking. 

After the conclusion of the treaty of Nerchinsk the 
diplomatic relations of Russia and China were placed upon a 
more regular footing, and the arrangement of the commerce 
between the two countries was the cause of many embassies 
being sent. We do not, however, intend entering upon the 
details of these various transactions, and the frequent disputes 
which put a temporary stop to the bartering trade carried 
on at Kiakhta and Tsurukhaita, but simply offer a few 
remarks on the colony of Russians at Peking which dates 
its origin from the wars between the two empires. During 
these wars the Chinese had taken many prisoners; other 
Russians deserted, and all were sent to Peking, settled in the 
north-east corner of that city, and formed into a company 
attached to the Imperial Body Guard. The Russian settlers, 
when they first arrived at Peking, built a church dedicated 
^ j to Saint Nicholas, and a few pictures formerly at Komarsk 
1 and Albazin had found their way thither. At the first 
embassy which Russia sent to Peking subsequent to the 
treaty of Nerchinsk, that of Eberhard Ysbrand Ides in 1692,\/ 
it was agreed upon that a priest should be sent to minister to 


■^the religious wants of the Cossacks, and a priest actually did 
arrive in 1698 with the Caravan conducted by Spiridon 

* Langusof. The caravans were lodged at the so called 
" Russia House " at the expense of the Chinese. At the 
treaty concluded by Count Sara Vladislavich Ragusinsky 
in 1727, the Chinese agreed to build a church attached to 
the Russian House^ to which the priest until then minister- 

v ing at the old church of Saint Nicholas was to be removed. 
In addition three other priests were to be sent, and four 
young Russians, and two of more advanced age, acquainted 
with Latin, were to be allowed to reside at Peking for the 
purpose of learning Chinese and Manchu, and teaching 
Russian to some Chinese. China agreed to contribute 1000 
silver rubel and 900 cwt. of rice towards the expense 
of this mission, and Russia the remainder, viz. 16,250 
silver rubel, of which sum 1000 rubel were set apart for the 
instruction of the Albazinians. The church built in accord- 
ance with this treaty was consecrated in 1732, and dedicated 
to the " Purification of Mary." Some pictures brought by 
the Cossacks from Albazin may yet be seen in it. The term 
of residence originally fixed for the members of the mission 
was ten years, but has subsequently been reduced to six. 
The personnel, since 1857, comprises an Archimandrite, three 
Hieromonakhs, four students, a physician, and an artist. 
At the entrance of the Russian House stands an " honorary" 
guard of Chinese soldiers ; no restriction, however, is said 
to be placed in the free communication of the residents with 
the native population. The Chinese officials who undergo a 
course of instruction in the Russian language are promoted ; 
but as yet none of them has gained any proficiency in the 
language, so as to be able to read and translate correctly. 
The members of the mission have never engaged in mis- 
sionary work ; their activity is of a scientific and political 
nature. With respect to the latter, the results can scarcely 
be appreciated ; in many respects they must, however, have 
been found to answer all the purposes of a regular embassy. 


We know, for instance, that Golovin, who in 1805 conducted 
a mission to Peking, took occasion, though unsuccessfully, to 
urge upon the Chinese to grant the free navigation of the 
Amur. The objects of science have, however, undoubtedly- 
been promoted by a number of works which owe their origin 
solely to the existence of this mission.® 

The descendants of the ancient Albazinians scarcely exist 
in name. They still form a separate company of the Imperial 
Body Guard, but have lost all attachment to the country of 
their ancestors. Quarters have been assigned to them in the 
Manchu portion of the town; they speak Chinese, dress like 
the Manchu, and live entirely in the same manner as the 
soldiers of that nation, poor, idle, and attached to the super- 
stitions of Shamanism. In 1824 there were still twenty-two 
who had been baptized, but only three of them attended the 
Russian service at the Church of the Purification. 

Since the treaty of Tientsin, 1858, a Russian ambassador, 
Ignatief, has resided at Peking, and Russian officers have 
repeatedly visited that -city. The last Mission left Kiakhta 
on the 8th of August, 1858. On that occasion there was a 
grand service in the Cathedral, and the street was lined with 
soldiers. The Mission at present counts fifteen members, 
including the councillor of State Perovsky, and the 
Archimandrite Gury. There are besides fifteen Cossacks as 
servants, and fifty Cossacks are stationed at Kallgan (Syuang- 

c. — The Amur and Sakhalin under the Dominion of 
China, 1689 to 1850. 

We will ourselves now cross the forbidden boundaries to 
enter the regions of the Amur, and see what the Chinese are 

e For instance, Hyacinthe, Description de Peking, Peterab. 1829 ; 

Timkovskjr, Reise nach China, Leipzig, 1829 ; Labours of the Russian 
1 Mission at Peking on China, its People, Religion, Institutions, Social 

-Relations, etc. Translated into German by Dr. Abel and F. A. 
\ Mecklenburg, 3 vols. Berlin, 1858-9, etc. 


i doing in the territories restored by the treaty of Nerchinsk. 
:The ancient town of Aigun, on the left bank of the Amur, 
was the first town occupied by the Chinese in 1683. But 
in the following year the garrison was removed to the right 
bank of the river three miles lower down, and the 
,town was made the capital of the newly created govern- 
ment of the Amur (Khei-lun-tsian of the Chinese, 
Bakhalin-ula of the Manchu). After the peace the seat 
of government was removed a second time, to the recently 
(1687) founded town of Mergen, on the river Nonni. 
A third removal took place in 1700; and from that 
time Tsitsikar, until then a small village, has remained 
the seat of government. The government of the Amur, 
together with that of Girin, which latter included the 
districts originally owned by the Manchu dynasty, were 
placed under a governor-general residing at Mukden. 
The system of administration differs from that of 
China, and is exclusively of a military nature. Military 
governors reside at Tsitsikar and Aigun, and in each 
town there is to be found a yamun or court of justice, 
with a store-house, granary, prison and school attached 
to it. The Manchu and some amalgamated tribes of 
Tunguzians are all of them soldiers; and, besides this, 
some of the other tribes are incorporated into a kind 
of militia. The military forces in 1818 numbered two 
hundred and thirty-eight officers and 10,431 men in 
the province of the Amur, and three hundred and 
twenty-three officers and 12,852 men in that of Girin. 
Small flotillas were also stationed at Girin, Petun, Aigun, 
and Tsitsikar, with eighteen officers and 1822 sailors. Most 
of the troops, about 19,000 men, were cavalry with light 
chain armour, and a considerable number acted as couriers, 
and others cultivated the soil. The militia organized among 
the tribes settled along tho Sungari and its tributaries 
numbered about 54,000 men. The revenues are derived from 


various sources. In 1811 the province of Girin produced 

£27,784, viz.:— 

Land-tax £16,622 

In lieu of rice 7,319 

Capitation-tax 2,008 

Various 1,835 


In addition the Nomadic tribes paid a tribute of 2,398 
sables or their equivalent, valued at £3,597; and 7,800 
quarters of corn ; the latter raised, probably, on the govern- 
ment lands. 

The Chinese and Manchu population at that time num- 
bered 307,781 individuals ; the extent of private lands culti-. 
vated was 871,896 acres, and thus each acre pays annually 
a tax of about sixpence halfpenny. The other taxes are 
equally trifling. The Nomadic tribes may be estimated at I 
about 12,000 ; the tribute exacted from them appears to be 
much more onerous than the taxation is to the rest of the 
community. In the province of the Amur, 4,497 sables, 
value £6,746, were paid as tribute, and £557 in taxes. The 
tribute from the Nomadic tribes was levied by the Mandarins 
who descended the Amur in their barges, took up their resi- 
dence in some native village, and having collected the tribute 
and disposed of their merchandize to the best advantage, 
returned to their ordinary stations. These Mandarins are 
charged with abuse of power, and with having made ex- 
tortionate demands upon the natives, who hailed the Russian, 
as their liberators. The latter certainly only demanded from 
one to two rubels annually from each adult male subject to 
them. On the other hand, the Mandarin is supposed to 
make a small present of tobacco or silk to every one paying 
his tribute ; and as far as regards the Gilyaks and Negda, 
this present appears, at least in their estimation, to be of 


greater value than the tribute demanded* The payment of 
tribute on the part of these latter tribes has, however, always 
been voluntary ; for the Mandarin did not usually descend 
the Amur below Pul, and visited Sakhalin island even less 
frequently. Sakhalin, at least the northern part of it, ap- 
pears to have become tributary to the Chinese about the 
' beginning of the eighteenth century, shortly after the time 
V when the Jesuits visited the country. d Disputes had arisen 
; between the natives and some traders, who had gone there 
from the Amur. Manchu soldiers were sent to set the matter 
bright. They landed, explored the island, appointed the 
chiefs of Hoi, Otsis, Gauto and Doga Haratas, i.e. directors, 
sand made them promise to take annually a tribute in seal- 
skins to the village of Deren on the Amur ; in return for 
which they were to receive a piece of silk embroidered with 
\gold, as a mark of the emperor's special favour. The 
Japanese who had occupied the southern portion of the island 
carefully avoided coming into contact with the Chinese. The 
boundary between the two nations may be placed for that 
time under 49° N. lat. 

\ The jealous policy of exclusion peculiar to the Manchu 
f government of China prevailed also on the Amur. Not 
only were the Chinese forbidden to emigrate to the thinly- 
populated Manchuria, but the natives themselves were not 
•allowed to pass the town of Sansin on the Sungari. The 
privilege of trading on the Amur was restricted to ten mer- 
chants, who obtained for that purpose a licence at Peking. 

d The Emperor Khing-tsu (KhaDg-hi) resolved in 1707 to avail him- 
self of the services of the Jesuit fathers, then staying at his court, for 
making a more correct map of his dominions. Their labours extended 
also to Manchuria and the Amur. On the 8th of May, 1709, the fathers 
Regis, Jartoux and Fridel left Peking, explored Leaotong, the Sungari 
Usuri, and the Amur down to the Dondon river. In 1710 they 
returned to Manchuria, explored its western portions, and ascended 
the Amur to Ulusu Modon. See Endlicher's Atlas of China, Vienna, 
1843 ; and Du Halde's China. 


In reality, however, there were a great many more traders, 
for the payment of a sufficient bribe to the Mandarins 
secured the same privileges as an imperial license. A few 
Chinese, most of them fugitives from justice, found their way 
across the barrier of stakes, and led a miserable life in the 
wilds of the Usuri. Others were exiled by government, and 
settled under military surveillance in the neighbourhood 
of the towns. At the accession of the Emperor Tao-kwang,| 
in 1820, the restrictions regarding immigration were removed \ 
with respect to the regions above the town of Sansin, on the I 
Sungari. The public lands were put up for sale to fill the empty 
treasury; Chinese immigrated en masse; new towns were/ 
founded, and the population of others was doubled and trebled/ 
In consequence, the Chinese population preponderates at the\ 
present time ; and the Manchu language has become almost I 
extinct. Many of these immigrants are Mohammedans, and! 
have mosques in the principal towns. But they also speak 
Chinese, their teachers alone being obliged to know Arabic, , 
and are not otherwise distinguished from the Chinese sur- j 
rounding them than by wearing a blue cap. The native; 
tribes gradually yield to the influence of the new comers ; 
and in dress, customs, and even language, assimilate more 
and more. This of course only refers to the southern portions . 
of the governments of Girin and of the Amur, the regula- ' 
tions forbidding emigration to the Amur itself having been/ 
maintained as strictly as ever. 




The efforts of the Roman Catholic Missionaries in Manchuria 
may be said to date from the year 1838, when Lcaotong, 
northern Manchuria, and part of Mongolia, were separated 
from the diocese of Peking, and created a distinct Vicariat 
Apostolic. M. E. Vcrolles, then at the College of Su-chwen 
in Tibet, was appointed Vicar Apostolic, and arrived at Kai- 
Cheu in 1841. Soon after, M. de la Bruniere proposed 
the conversion of the Chang-Mao- tse, i.e., long-haired 
people, on the banks of the Amur, but could not be spared 
before 1844, when the number of Missionaries was increased. 
In May 1845 he left Kai-Cheu, with the understanding, 
of not extending his journey beyond three months. His 
further progress may be seen from the following letter, dated 
from the banks of the Usuri, and addressed to the Directors 
of the Seminary for Foreign Missions.* 

" Manchuria, on the river Usuri, April 5th, 1846. 

" On the 15th of July, after some retirement 

wherein I had consulted the will of God, I departed from 
Pa-kia-tze, a Christian district of Mongolia, accompanied by 
two neophytes quite unaccustomed to travelling. They were 
the only guides I could then find. We directed our course 
eastwards, keeping a little to the north. Seven days' journey 
sufficed to reach the town of A-she-ho, recently founded, and 

* Annates de la Propagation do la Foi, vol. xx. 1848. 


settled by successive emigrants from China, as had been the 
case to the deserts of Mongolia. A -she- ho is situated forty 
leagues north of Kirin, and twenty-five west of the Sungari. 
Its population, estimated at 60,000 souls, increases every 
day; a Mandarin of the second class governs it. It has 
within its territory some Christian families, which were 
visited the preceding winter by our dear brother the Rev. Dr. 
Venault. I preferred to stop this time with a rich Pagan, 
a friend of one of our neophytes, hoping that his generous 
hospitality would afford me the opportunity of announcing 
to him Jesus Christ. Great was my surprise to find that this 
man had the faith already in his heart, and sincerely despised 
the vain superstitions of paganism. And still he remains 
chained down to that belief; he is insensible to every exhortation, 
inasmuch as directing a large establishment of carpentry, if 
he were a Christian, he could no longer make idols for the 
temples, from which source he derives a considerable profit. 
In return for my zeal, he eagerly tried to dissuade me from 
the journey I had undertaken, representing to me the troops of 
tigers and bears, which filled these deserts; and whilst 
relating these things he sometimes uttered such vehement 
cries, that my two guides grew pale with horror. Being 
already a little accustomed to the figures of Chinese eloquence, 
I thanked him for his solicitude, assuring him that the flesh 
of Europeans had such a particular flavour, that the tigers of 
of Manchuria would not attempt to fasten their teeth in it. 
The answer was not calculated to reassure my companions ; 
and they did not partake of my confidence when we resumed 
our route. 

" Eight leagues from A-she-ho, the country, hitherto 
sufficiently peopled, suddenly changes to an immense desert, 
which ends at the Eastern Sea. Only one road traverses 
it, conducting to San-sin (in the Manchu language Ilamhola), 
a small village situated on the light bank of the Sungari, 
twenty-four leagues from its confluence with the Amur. The 


forests of oaks, elms, and fir-trees, which bound the horizon 
on all sides, the tall, thick grass, which oftentimes reached 
above our heads, were convincing proofs of fertility of the 
soil, as yet untouched by the hand of man. At every ten 
leagues you find one or two cabins, a kind of lodging-houses, 
established through the care of the Mandarins for the govern- 
ment couriers, which also as a matter of course lodge other 
travellers. There you need not ask for a bill of fare. If 
simplicity be one of the best conditions of a dietary regimen, 
it cannot be denied but that in this respect the fore-men- 
tioned hostelries deserve to occupy the first rank. You have 
millet boiled in water, and nothing else. Two or three 
times the master of the house, in consideration of my noble 
bearing, brought to me a plate of wild herbs gathered in 
the neighbourhood. I do not know what these plants were, 
but I suspect strongly that gentian, an infusion of which is 
often drunk as a medicinal tea, was a chief component. The 
choicest dainty in these countries, — which, however, is never 
served up in the hotels, — is the flower of the yellow lily, 
which abounds on the mountains and is very palatable to the 

" Meantime no tigers appeared. But other kinds of animals, 
no less ferocious in my opinion, awaited us on our journey. 
I have not words to express to you the multitude of mosquitos, 
gnats, wasps and gad-flies, which attacked us at every step. 
Each of us armed with a horse's tail fixed on an iron prong, 
endeavoured to strike them, and this weak defence only 
served to render the enemy more vicious in his attacks. As 
for me, I was completely beaten, without strength either to 
advance or protect myself from the stinging of these insects ; 
or if, at times, I raised my hand to my face, I crushed ten or 
twelve with one blow. Two wretched horses, which carried 
the baggage and occasionally our persons, lay down panting 
in the midst of the grass, refusing to eat or drink, and could 
by no means be induced to march. They were all covered 


with blood. We had been already three days on our journey, 
and four still remained before we could reach San-shn. We 
therefore changed our system of travelling, converted night 
into day, and reached the inn an hour before daybreak. By 
this procedure we avoided two terrible enemies, the gad-flies 
and wasps ; the mosquitos alone esoorted us, in order that we 
might not be altogether without annoyance. 

" Those who know the country best never go out without 
a mosquito cloth — that is to say, without a thick, double 
wrapper, covering the head and neck, and having two holes 
cut for the eyes. As to beasts of burden, to make them 
travel in the deserts five or six days in succession, under the 
noon-day's sun, is to expose them to almost certain death. 
These insects swarm particularly in moist, marshy places, 
and on the banks of the rivers by which Manchuria is inter- 
sected. Beyond San-sim they grow to a monstrous size, 
particularly the gnats and wasps. As to others, as far as 
regards the punishment they inflict, it matters not whether 
they be small or large. The houses are somewhat preserved 
from them by the cultivated districts which surround them, 
and by their being fumigated with horse or cow dung ; but 
they are not, completely rid of them till the end of September, 
the time of the severe frosts. 

"Another difficulty in these journeys consists in the 
immense deposits of mud which intervene on the route, and 
frequently compel a deviation of three or four leagues . . - 
At last, towards the evening of the 4th of August, San-sim 
displayed to us its wooden walls and houses. This city 
presents nothing remarkable but its great street, inlaid with 
large pieces of wood, six inches thick and joined together 
with much precision. Its population is reckoned at ten 
thousand souls. The Manchu mandarin who governs it is 
of the second class (dark red button), and has under his 
jurisdiction the banks of the Usuri and the right side of the 
Amur as far as the sea. 


" The city of San-sim, the last post of the mandarins in the 
North, is to every Chinese or Manchu traveller the extreme 
limit which the law allows him to reach. To travel heyond 
is considered and punished as a great infraction of the laws 
of the state. About ten merchants protected by imperial 
passports which cost each of them one hundred taels or 
more annually, have the sole privilege of descending the 
Sungari, entering the Amur and finally ascending the Usuri, 
in the forests of which is found the celebrated Ginseng root. 
Any other traveller is beaten without any form of law, and 
his baggage, even to his clothes, taken from him. Evasion 
moreover is difficult on account of the small barges which 
are continually plying on the river in all directions day and 
night. The government of San-sim despatch annually three 
war junks in succession, carrying no guns, and having only 
a few sabres on board. The first of these goes to Mu- 
chem, on the right bank of the Amur, in 49° 13' N. lat. 
This Muchem (Dondon of the Tunguzians) is neither a town 
nor a village, nor even a hamlet, but simply a building of 
deal, which during three months serves as a court-house for 
the mandarins of the boat. Their business is to receive the 
skins and furs which the tribe of the Sham-mao-tze (long 
hair), so called because they never shave the head, furnishes 
to the emperor, in exchange for a certain number of pieces 
of cloth. The second barge collects the same imposts from 
the Yupitatze, or fish skins, from the skins of fish 
which they make use of for clothing. The third boat has juris- 
diction over the Elle-iao-tze (or long red hairs), a wretched 
and almost extinct tribe, occupying two or three small inlets 
of the Usuri, and dwelling under tents made of the bark of 
trees. b 

" It often happens however that the mandarins and soldiers 

b The " Long-hairs " of the Chinese are the Mangun or Olcha, the 
"Fish-skins" the Goldi, and the "Long-red-hairs" the Orochi of the 
sea coast. — R. 


of these boats take more care of their own affairs than of 
those of the emperor. Not content with the skins of sable, 
they exact large sums of money before delivering the pro- 
mised cloth ; and in spite of all the natives may urge, they 
are no less bound down, under pain of being scourged, to 
this arbitrary impost. Many families on the approach of 
the boat leave their huts and fly to the mountains. But 
even this is of little avail ; for during their absence every- 
thing belonging to them is pillaged, and the cabin itself 
burnt down. 

" For my part, after a few days of rest spent in procuring 
information and laying in the necessary provisions, I sent 
back to Leaotong one of my two Christians, whom the 
experience of the previous journey had disinclined from pro- 
ceeding farther. When we arrived at San-sim it was just 
the time when the Manchu Yupitatze and Sham-mao came 
to exchange the produce of fishing and the chase for cloth, 
millet, and especially Chinese brandy. I learned from them 
that about forty leagues below Sansim, also upon the banks 
of the Sungari, was situated one of their principal villages, 
named Su-su. They added at the same time, that we 
Chinese were prohibited entrance, and no one would venture 
to conduct us thither. This double obstacle was no reason 
why I should abandon my project. Having then implored 
the Divine aid, and celebrated for that purpose the holy 
sacrifice at my hotel, the master of which, a man of the tribe 
of Xensi, took me for a sorcerer, I directed my way at an 
early hour of the morning towards the eastern range of 
mountains. If Providence permitted us to wander on our 
route, we always did it in such a way, that, meeting with some 
lonely cabin, we were able either by inquiring or by con- 
jectures more or less correct, to keep without too many 
deviations the straight road to Su-su. We journeyed full of 
confidence in the invisible Guide who alone directed our 
steps, when in the middle of the fourth day, we were met 

o 2 

84 M. DE LA BRUNlfeRE's 

by two horsemen, who bore an air of haughty nobility. It 
was a military mandarin attended by an inferior officer. 
He stopped, alighted from his horse, and saluted us very 
politely. We sat down on the grass and smoked a pipe 
together. The European countenance, more masculine than 
the generality of Chinese physiognomies, puzzled him for 
a moment. He addressed himself to my Christian and 
desired to know from him the object of our excursion into a 
country severely interdicted. The latter replied in accordance 
with instructions given beforehand, that as a simple man 
and labourer by profession, he had followed me as a domestic, 
without having any power to take a part in the important 
affairs which had brought me into these parts. On hearing 
this answer the mandarin immediately suspected that I was 
a ministerial agent, charged with examining into the state 
of the country and the conduct of the officials. This is in 
reality a common practice of the government, when they have 
conceived any prejudice against the functionaries of a city or a 
district. It should also be remarked that the Manchu 
mandarins are in general illiterate, and very little skilled in 
business. He therefore turned to me with increased caution, 
entered into conversation upon the name of my family, the 
province in which I was born, the products of the south of 
China, the state of commerce, etc. During all this time 
there was no inquiry after the object of my mission. He 
dreaded to compromise himself, and lose my favour. Two 
hours having thus passed in exchanging compliments, we 
parted well pleased with each other. He had the kindness 
to point out to us the best route to Su-su ; and the next day, 
at an early hour, we were reposing in the cabin of a 

" My sudden appearance occasioned great alarm to these 
poor people; my unusual look; the dress, which in that 
country denoted somewhat of a high rank ; the breviary, and 
the crucifix, formed the subjects of a thousand conjectures. 


little presents made to the principal persons of the district 
soon established a familiarity of intercourse, which enabled 
me to speak openly and with authority of the gospel. My 
hearers found the religion very fine ; but the new doctrine, 
and the new preacher who announced it, stopped them short 
at once. One day — it was I believe the fourth of my 
arrival — I was sitting on the bank of the river conversing 
with one of the natives, and just beside us were his two sons . 
engaged in fishing. In despair of catching anything they 
pulled in their long lines and were going away, when I said, 
assuming a jocose tone, 

" ' You do not understand ; give me one of your lines.' 

" I threw it about ten paces further, not without much 
laughter from the spectators. Providence willed that a large 
fish should bite at the very instant; and I drew out my 
prey, more astonished myself than those who laughed. 

"'This unknown/ said they among themselves, 'has 
secrets, which other men have not ; and nevertheless he is 
not a bad man/ 

" In the evening, at supper, there was much talk about 
the wonderful capture I had made. They wished to know 
my secret. Instead of an answer, I contented myself with 
one single question : 

" ' Do you believe in hell P' 

" ' Yes/ answered three or four of the best informed ; ' we 
believe in hell, like the bonzes of San-sim/ 

" ' Have you any means of escaping it/ 

" ' We have never reflected on that point/ 

" ' Well then/ I replied, ' I have an infallible secret, by 
means of which you can become more powerful than all the 
evil spirits, and go straight to heaven/ 

" The first secret gained credence for the second. Thus 
Divine Providence disposes of all things. 

" The next day, three long beards of the village made 
their appearance in my chamber, armed with a jug of brandy 
and four glasses. 


" ' Your secret/ said they, 'is of awful consequence. If 
our importunity does not hurt your feelings, we would wish 
to know in what it consists. Let us begin by drinking.* 

" Notwithstanding the natural repugnance which I have 
for Chinese brandy, I thought it necessary to accept the 
invitation, in order to avoid incurring the aversion of these 
poor people, who could be made to know or understand 
nothing but through this channel. I then commenced to 
develop my 'secret,' by explaining the dogma of original 
sin, of hell, of the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ, and the 
application by the sacraments of the merits of the Saviour. 
It was in the simplest manner, and by familiar comparisons, 
that I proceeded. But unluckily, my interrogators taking 
ten or twelve bumpers to my one, became in five or six 
minutes incapable of understanding anything. However, I 
gained favour. They lodged me and my Christian in a very 
spacious house, which had become vacant by the death of the 
proprietor. One of the most intelligent men of the village 
was appointed to teach me their Manchu language, which is 
more pleasing to their ear than Chinese, although they 
speak the one as well as the other. The Manchu has become 
a dead language in Manchuria Proper. The natives glory 
in abandoning the language of their ancestors in favour of 
that of the new comers — the Chinese. It is not the same 
with the Tupitatze, whose language is to the Manchu much 
the same as the Provencal patois is to the French or Italian. 

" A week had elapsed when in the middle of the day the 
sharp sound of the tam-tam was heard on the river. Fear 
was immediately depicted on every countenance. 

" ' It is/ said they to me, 'a large boat from San-sim, bearing 
two Mandarins and twenty soldiers, who at this moment are 
assembling all the inhabitants of Su-su/ 

" In addition to the ordinary apprehension caused by the 
sudden appearance of the functionaries, the people saw 
themselves seriously compromised by my presence, which 


would bring down upon them the wrath of the Mandarin. 
After a mutual understanding with me, they simply declared 
me to be an unknown person, who transacted no commercial 
business, and who, in opposition to their resistance at first, 
had forced himself upon their hospitality. An officer, 
followed by seven or eight soldiers, came directly to the 
house where I was ; and, the first usual compliments being 
passed, demanded of me what business brought me into a 
country, the entrance of which was strictly forbidden by 

" ' My business/ I answered, ' calls me not only to Su-su ; 
I must go further, and push on even to the Usuri.' 

"The officer, without daring to follow up his inquiries, 
gratefully accepted a cup of tea, and retired inviting me to 
visit the boat. To'anticipatethe Mandarin, and pay him the 
first marks of politeness, was a decisive step ; this indication 
of confidence would remove all suspicion. I went therefore 
on board attended by my Christian, and was received almost 
with open arms. 

" On the evening of the same day he returned my visit. I 
offered him some pu-cha, the much-esteemed tea of Se- 
shwan, the glutinous leaves of which form a roll as hard as 

" ' My lord/ said he on retiring, ' your presence here 
causes no inconvenience ; I allow you to remain ten or even 
twenty days, if your business require it.' 

" Nevertheless, the crew of the boat exacted from fourteen 
poor families of Su-su a sum equivalent to two hundred 
francs. The whole amount of money in possession of the 
Fish-skins did not amount to more than seventy-two francs. 
Three days passed in parley. My presence evidently an- 
noyed the collectors. I had become an object of suspicion, 
and thought it best to return to San-sim, on the 23rd 
August, where I lodged with a Mahometan. 

" My beard and my eyes induced my host first to imagine 

88 M. DB LA BRUNlfeRE's 

that I was one of his co-religionists. His conjectures 
vanished completely before a plate of pork, which he saw me 
eat with a great relish. But what was his surprise, when he 
heard me relate the history of the creation ; the fall of our 
first parents ; the travels of Abraham ; etc. 

" The Mohammedans of San-aim are numerous, and form 
about one-third of the population; they own a Mosque, 
which is guarded by a kind of Marabut, called Lao-she-fu. 
The duty of this man is, every day at sunrise to give the first 
stroke of the knife to the beast or cow, which is sold in the 
Turkish shambles. He also opens the school for the young 
persons, who wish to study the Koran. I received the unex- 
pected visit of a superior officer, a confidant of the chief 
Mandarin. His mission was not to interrogate me judicially, 
but by means of certain captious questions and counterfeit 
politeness to extract my confidence. After a long conver- 
sation the officer retired just as wise as he came, but only 
to return in a short time to the charge. He paid me as 
many as three visits in the space of six days ; so that the 
Turk, not being able any longer to repress his fears, came to 
me to humbly ask how much longer I counted on a shelter 
under his roof. It was therefore necessary to consider anew 
about my departure. 

'< I remembered having heard it said by the Fish-skins of 
Su-su, that towards the east, a little to the south of San-sim, 
there was a narrow path by which the ginseng dealers 
annually went to the Usuri. The distance by the long 
winding caused by the rivers and mountains is reckoned at 
one hundred and twenty leagues. The Turk, to whom alone 
I had confided my project, cheerfully assisted my little pre- 
parations ; and on the 1st day of September 1845 we once 
more quitted San-sim, without knowing when we might 

" This time the mule carried along a complete kitchen ; 
namely a small iron pot, a hatchet, two porringers, a bushel 


of millet, and some cakes of oaten bread. Whoever makes 
the journey from San-sim to the Usuri need not look for any 
other bed than the ground, any other covering than the 
heavens, nor any other food than what he may have taken 
the precaution of bringing. The journey, on account of the 
autumn rains, took us fifteen days. I confess that, in com- 
parison with these, former fatigues appeared as child's play. 
You must cut and drag trees, light fires, necessary against 
the cold and the tiger, prepare your victuals in wind and 
rain, and all this in the midst of a swarm of mosquitoes and 
gad-flies, who do not suspend their attacks until about ten 
or twelve o'clock in the evening. Water and wood were in 
abundance during the first days of the journey ; but thirty 
leagues from the Usuri, the springs became so scarce, that 
we were compelled to do like the birds of heaven, and eat the 
millet raw. The forests of this wilderness have scarcely any 
other trees than an oak, of poor growth in consequence of 
the rigorous climate. 

" At last, towards the evening of the 14th September, the 
river Usuri came in view ; it is as deep but not as broad as 
the Sungari. We were then forty leagues north of the lake 
Hinka (Tahu). Our first asylum was a lonely house built by 
the Chinese merchants, serving as a warehouse for the 
ginseng trade. Two days had scarcely passed when yielding 
to the invitation of one of the merchants, I availed myself of 
his bark to descend the river for a distance of twenty-four 
leagues, to a miserable cabin, situated ten leagues from the 
confluence of the Usuri with the Amur. 

" This cabin belonged to a Chinese, a native of Shan-tum. 
With him were ten of his countrymen, from different pro- 
vinces, whom he . employed for six months in the year to 
traverse the mountains and forests in search of that celebrated 
root of Zu-leu, about which I will say something further on. 
The first interview made me imagine myself far from savage 
districts, and within the pale of Chinese urbanity. But when 

90 M. DE LA BRUNliRE's 

they learned my quality of Christian priest, then were 
verified the words of the Teacher, € The servant is not greater 
than his Lord' (Johnxiii. 16). Aversion and disdain were 
succeeded by wrath, when, profiting by the many questions 
they addressed me, I openly announced Jesus Christ. In 
return for the words of salvation and love, they heaped male- 
dictions on me. 

" I had been there fifteen days, when a strange accident 
broke up our meetings. This happened about the middle of 
October. The trees already bare, and the high grass parched 
and turned yellow, announced the approach of great cold. 
At mid-day, there appeared in the horizon above the forests 
an immense cloud, which completely intercepted the light of 
the sun. Suddenly, all hurried out of the house, crying 
'Fire! fire!' They took hatchets, and destroyed all the 
vegetation which bordered on the dwellings. The grass 
was burned and the trees dragged into the river. The cloud 
kept fast approaching. It opened, and disclosed to us the 
focus of a raging fire, as rapid in its course as a horse spurred 
to the gallop. There were concussions in the atmosphere, in 
violence resembling the shock of a tempest. The flames at 
hand, as soon as seen, passed a few paces near us, and plunged 
like an arrow into the forests to the north, leaving us in a 
sad state of consternation, although we had not suffered any 
loss. These fires are caused by hunters coming from the 
banks of the Amur, who find no easier means of compelling 
the game to quit their retreat. 

" A few glasses of brandy having dissipated the late im- 
pressions of fear, the conversation turned anew upon rtligion. 
The greater part of my hearers agreed that my doctrine was 
good and true. But the Ten Commandments were univer- 
sally deemed an insupportable burthen. You will not be 
astonished at this, when you are made aware what kind of 
people I had to deal with. 

" The entire population of the Usuri and its tributary 


rivers does not amount to eight hundred souls. It is divided 
into two classes, the first of which comprises the Chinese, to 
the number of two hundred, and the second about five 
hundred Manchu Fish-skins, subdivided into eighty and 
some odd families. 

" The two hundred Chinese, two upright merchants ex- 
cepted, are vagrants, felons guilty of murder, highway 
robbers, whom crime and the fear of punishment have com- 
pelled to exile themselves into these deserts, where they are 
placed beyond the reach of the law. I only judge them from 
their own account. How many have avowed to me their 
daring robberies, the number of men whom they had killed 
or grievously wounded, and the excesses of every kind to 
which their appearance bore testimony. 'No/ said they, 
' misery and poverty alone could never have made us volun- 
tarily undergo such dreadful exile/ And the aspect of the 
place induced me to believe them without difficulty. Would, 
at least, that the sufferings of banishment inspired some 
salutary remorse to these depraved hearts ! But they pre- 
serve even now, as in their past life, an ardour for crime, to 
develop which opportunity alone is wanting. Each year is 
marked by two or three murders. But a very short time 
ago, even an old man of sixty-eight killed another of seventy- 
six, on account of some debt which the latter could not 
discharge on the instant. Four days afterwards I saw the 
murderer, and he related to me the bloody scene with an air 
as tranquil, as if he himself had taken no share in it. 

" These men, wretched in their entire being, have here no 
other means of sustaining life than that of giving themselves 
up, with incredible fatigue, to the search of the ginseng. 
Picture to yourself one of these miserable carriers, laden 
with more than twenty-four pounds weight, venturing with- 
out any road across immense forests, climbing up or descend- 
ing the mountains; always left alone to his own thoughts, 
and exposed to every distemper; not knowing if to-day or to- 

92 M. DE LA BBTJNlfeRE's 

morrow he may fall a -victim to the wild beasts which abound 
around him, supported by the modicum of millet he brings 
with him, and a few wild herbs to season it. And all this 
during five months of the year, from the end of April to 
the end of September." 

[M. de la Bruniere here gives a description of the ginseng 
plant from hearsay. He also encloses some seed with direc- 
tions how to propagate it. The medicinal virtues of the 
ginseng, M. de la Bruni&re can speak of from his own ex- 
perience; he was cured in a short time of a weakness in the 
stomach, which had resisted the treatment by Peruvian bark- 
wine and other infusions]. 

" I will now give you some details about the Yupitatze, or 
Fish-skins. This tribe, formerly numerous, at present scarcely 
counts from seventy to eighty families, who trade from the 
Lake Hinka as far as the Amur. The Yupitatze inhabit 
houses differing little from those of the poorer Chinese. In 
winter the Chase, in summer the Fishing, comprise in two 
words the history of their arts, sciences, and social state. Wo 
government, no laws among them ; and how could there be 
any for scattered members who have not even the appear- 
ance of a body P Their whole religion consists in a debasing 
worship, which in Chinese is called Tsama or Tsamo. This 
superstition, equally in favour with the lower class of people 
in Leao-tong, has for its object the invoking of certain good 
spirits in opposition to the devil, whom they dread. With 
the Yupitatze, a tribe fond of the chase, three spirits, that 
of the stag, that of the fox, and the spirit of the weasel, 
stand highest in public estimation. If a member of a family 
fall sick it is ascribed to the agency of the demon. It is 
then necessary to call upon one of these genii, which is per- 
formed by the following ceremony, which I witnessed twice. 
The great Tsama, or evoker of the Tia-shen (spirit) is in- 
vited by the family. At a distance of half a league the 
sound of the drum announces his approach. Immediately 


the master of the house issues forth with a drum of the same 
kind, to receive him. It should be well understood that 
brandy is always at the reception ; and I may as well tell 
you beforehand, the sun has hardly set before they are all 
dead drunk. 

" When the hour of the Tia-shen has come, the great 
Tsama clothes himself in his sacred robes. A cap, from which 
streamers of paper and thin stripes of the bark of trees 
flutter, covers his head. His tunic of doe-skin or cloth, 
variegated with different colours, descends to the knees. But 
the girdle is what seems most necessary for his occupation. 
It is composed of three plaits, and attached to it are three 
rows of iron or brass tubes, from seven to eight inches long. 
Thus accoutred the exorciser sits down, the drum in one 
hand, a stick in the other. Then in the midst of solemn 
silence, he intones a lamentation, the music of which is not 
disagreeable. The drum, which he strikes at regular 
intervals, accompanies the voice. This lamentation, or invo- 
cation of the spirit, has many stanzas, at the end of each of 
which the face of the Tsamo assumes a fearful aspect. 
Gradually the sounds of the drum become stronger and 
quicker. The Tsamo contracts his lips, and emitting two or 
three dull whistling sounds, he stops. Immediately the 
spectators respond in chorus with a prolonged cry, gradually 
dying away, the sound of which is that of our open 6. 

"The invocation ended, the Tsama rises quickly, and 
with hurried steps and frequent bounds he makes the circuit 
of the chamber repeatedly, crying out like a man in 
a transport of frenzy and multiplying his contortions, which 
cause the tubes of brass to resound with a frightful noise. 
The spirit is then at hand and shows himself, but only to 
the exorciser, and not to the spectators. The Tsama I saw 
called upon the spirit of the stag. It was the commencement 
of the hunting season. He paused in the middle of his per- 
formance and uttered such a cry, or rather howl, that the 

94 M. DE LA BRXJNliRE's 

Chinese merchants, who at first had laughed at the farce, fled 
the house and sought shelter for the night elsewhere. An 
old cook, a native of Peking, assured me he had felt the 
spirit ; but what was his terror when the next day on rising 
he found an iron pot empty, which he had left full of millet 
the evening before ! It became known some time after, that 
the spirit, in a generous fit of conviviality, had awarded the 
dish to the great Tsama and his companions, as a recompense 
for their labours. 

" The natives hunt only during the winter. The snow, 
which covers the mountains and plains to the depth of six 
feet, offers no impediment. Two planks cut from the pine- 
tree, a quarter of an inch thick and at most five inches broad, 
and six feet long, sloping upwards at both ends, covered 
underneath with a deer-skin, and bound tightly to the foot 
by two straps ; such are the snow-shoes used by the hunter. 
Equipped with these, he will skim lightly over the snow 
follow the track of the stag and doer, and go twenty to 
twenty-five leagues in the shortest winter's day. Should a 
mountain lie in the way, he climbs it without difficulty by 
the aid of his snow-shoes. The hair of the deer-skin, with 
which they arc covered, is put on so as to slope backwards, 
and sinking in the snow, serves as a means of support. 

" The dexterity of the Tupitatze is no less exhibited in 
fishing. Furnished with a simple iron-pointed javelin, he 
sits in a skiff made of the bark of a tree, and manages it with 
the same ease on the water, as the snow-shoes on land. The 
Chinese call this skiff Kuai-ma, i.e., swift horse. A few 
strokes of an oar, shaped like our " battoirs de lessive b ," cause 
it to glide up the river with extreme rapidity. The Chinese 
dare not venture in it, for the least motion would upset the 
venturesome navigator. When the Yupitatze strikes the 
fish with his dart, the arm alone moves, the body not losing 

b An oar with a blade at either ond. 


ite equilibrium for an instant. The Usuri and its small 
tributary rivers abound in fish. That which ranks first is 
the Iluam-yu, unknown in Europe. I have seen some which 
weighed more than 1000 lbs., and was assured there were 
some of 1800 to 2000 pounds. It is said to come from the 
Hinka Lake. Its flesh, perfectly white and very tender, 
make me prefer it to all other fresh- water fish. Entirely 
cartilaginous, with the exception of three small bones in the 
neck, it has lips formed like those of a shark, the upper 
protruding much over the lower. Like the shark, it turns 
itself to seize its prey or bite the hook ; and, like it, swims 
slowly and clumsily. The cartilage and bones are the most 
esteemed portions of the fish, and sell at San-sim for one 
and a-half tael of silver the pound. The Mandarins annually 
lay in a supply for the Emperor's table. 

" Towards the end of September, at the approach of winter, 
another kind of fish called Tamara appears in the Amur and 
Usuri. It comes from the sea in shoals of several thousands, 
and weighs from ten to fifteen pounds. Its shape, and espe- 
cially the flavour of its flesh, give me reason to suppose it 
a kind of small salmon. God, in His paternal providence, 
mindful even of those who do not glorify Him, gives it to 
the poor inhabitants of this country as an excellent preserva- 
tive against the rigours of winter. I state what I found by 
experience. Without wine and without flour, supported by 
-very little millet, and a morsel of this dried fish, I have 
suffered less from a continual cold of 51°, and which during 
many days reached 65°, c than I did in the south of Leaotong, 
with better food and a temperature of some four degrees 
below zero. To the Tupitatze the fishing of the Tamara is 
of the same importance as the gathering in of the harvest is 
to our rural districts and cities ; a deficiency in one or the 

c Evidently a gross error in M. de la Bruniere's thermometer 
readings. At Nikolaywsk it never exceeds 40°, and at Yakutsk 
even, such a degree of cold is looked upon as extraordinary. 



other will bring a famine along with it. The two fish I 
spoke of are more frequently eaten raw than cooked. I 
followed this custom without any very great repugnance, 
and scarcely believed I might become a savage at so small a 
cost. You can conceive, gentlemen, that this exclusive 
regimen of fish, like everything else exclusive, has its incon- 
veniences. The heat which it imparts to the blood, so bene- 
ficial in winter, is the cause of severe diseases during spring 
and summer. Among these maladies I would particularise 
the small-pox. Its ravages are horrible. The most aged 
persons dread its attacks as much as infancy and youth. 
The same individual may suffer from it four or five times in 
the course of his life. 


" But though dangerous as a constant article of food, the 
fish of these rivers are invaluable on account of the imperish- 
able garments made of their skins. In boots made of such 
fish skins you may wade through rivulets and walk in the 
snow as on the dry ground, equally protected against the 
cold and moisture. 

" The swan, the stork, the goose, the duck, the teal, appear 
each year in the month of May in numberless flocks, attracted 
by the prey which is easily had and in abundance ; and the 
birds are the more daring, as no one disturbs their repose. 
The natives do not seem to value wild fowl. 

" I will conclude with a word on the mode of travelling 
practised in the winter season. The great and only road 


during summer or winter is the river or lake. A very light 
sledge made of thin oaken laths, five or six feet long, a foot 
and a half high, convex in the lower part, whilst the upper 
part is level, serves as a general mode of conveyance. Here 
the dog discharges the same office as the reindeer with the 
Russians. Every family keeps a pack of fifteen or twenty of 
these animals. The master eats the flesh of the fish ; the 
dog has for his share the head and the bones. During 
winter the latter feeds entirely upon the tamara, which 
produces such heat that he sleeps on the snow during the 
most severe cold without seeking a more comfortable berth. 
A team of eight dogs (they are of middle size) draws a man 
and two hundred pounds of luggage during an entire day 
with the swiftness of our best coaches. These journeys in 
winter, and the chase to which the Yupitatze are addicted 
at this season, bring on here as elsewhere in cold countries 
where no precautions are taken against it many cases of 
dphthahnia, which at an advanced age terminates in 

" About the 13th or 15th of May I will buy, if it please 
God, a small bark in which I may descend the Amur to the 
sea to visit the Long-hairs. I shall go alone, because no one 
dare conduct me, and my companion, a poor Christian from 
Leaotong, returns to his home sick from fear and melancholy. 
I am well aware how difficult it will be to avoid the barges 
of the mandarins who descend the river from San-sim ; but 
if it is the will of God that I arrive where I design going, 
His arm can smooth every obstacle and guide me there in 
safety, and if it please Him that I return, He knows 
well how to bring me back. Whatever this future may 
be, to proceed appears to me in the present circumstances 
the only duty of a missionary, who in the prayer which the 
Church enjoins him says often with his lips and in his heart 
the words of the sacred canticle, ' Shall I give sleep to my 
eyes or slumber to my eyelids or rest to my temples, until I 



find out a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of 
Jacob ' (Ps. cxxxi.). 

" Have the kindness, gentlemen, to remember me at the 
holy altar and before the sacred hearts of Jesus and 

" De la Bruniere, Missionary Apostolic." 

M. de la Bruniere did actually descend the TTsuri and 
Amur ; but met his death at the hands of predatory Gilyaks. 
Two messengers were sent to seek him, but they only got as 
far as San-sim, where the swollen state of the river put a 
stop to their progress. Further researches were not made, 
as the situation of the Christian communities in the south of 
Manchuria did not permit of it. A cathedral had been 
built at.Tang*koan (l'hotel de Soleil) three leagues from the 
sea, and several oratories and chapels in other parts of the 
country. A college was founded in the neighbourhood of 
Kuang-cheng-tzay in the plains of Mongolia ; and Christian 
communities, owing to the activity of M. Venault, existed 
even at Girin and Asheho — towns of Manchuria. But the 
progress made by the Missionaries aroused the enemies of the 
new religion. On the 1st February 1849 when M. Verolles 
was confessing some Christians, Chinese soldiers, and others, 
to the number of about sixty — in a state of exitement conse- 
quent upon an orgie — attempted to enter the oratory to 
to seize his person and deliver him to the Mandarins. They 
were prevented by the native Christians, and M. Yerollcs 
had time to fly to the mountains. The oratory, however, was 
watched ; messengers ran off to Kai-cheu to denounce the 
first catechist (a native) for having given shelter to foreigners. 
In the morning before break of day six neophytes and one 
catechumen were arrested and taken in chains before the 
Mandarin. The catechumen and an old man renounced their 
new religion, but the others remained staunch in spite of 
tortures. This spread consternation among the neighbouring 
Christian communities. The men fled before the soldiers 


sent to arrest them, leaving their women and children 

Measures were taken without delay to put a stop to these 
persecutions. M. Verolles sent his pro- vicar Berneux to 
Mukden, where the Mandarin at the head of the superior 
tribunal sold at a high figure the promise to liberate the 
imprisoned Christians. The Christians were liberated, and 
their accusers sent to prison. The chief catechist brought an 
accusation of trespass against the Chinese aggressors. The 
imperial edict granting protection to the Christian religion 
was read in open court, and sentence was just being pro- 
nounced against the trespassers when the friendly Mandarin 
himself got into trouble. His successor was hostile to 
Christianity; he accepted bribes .from the Pagans, and 
decided to refer the case back to the superior tribunal at 
£ai-cheu where no doubt it would have been lost. 

Our catechist, however, presented a petition against such 
removal ; and the government, probably induced to this 
course by the remonstrances of the French Consul at 
Shanghai, acceded to his prayer, and at the end of January 
1850 the case was settled in his favour. Several Pagans 
received from twenty to eighty blows, two were deprived of 
all civil rights, and five soldiers who had robbed the 
Christians of a sum of thirty-two pounds were expelled 
the territory, after one month's suffering the infliction of the 
Cangue. This persecution did anything but promote the 
number of Christian converts. Many catechumens were 
shaken in their faith, and Pagans once favourable to 
Christianity returned to their idols. Nevertheless sixty-six 
adults and 1200 children were baptized in the course of the 
year, and in 1850 the number increased to eighty-eight 
adults and 2081 d children. Three new oratories were 

d No doubt many of these children were baptized in extremis, by the 
priest working upon the superstitious fear of their parents. 


100 m. venault's journey 

M. Venault had been active at Asheho, a newly-founded 
town in northern Manchuria, and resolved to start from 
there upon an exploratory journey to the Lower Amur. One 
of the objecte of this journey was to clear up the fate of 
M. de la Brunifere still enveloped in mystery. In this he 
perfectly succeeded, as the following letter will show : — 
" My Lord, 

" As soon as the wishes of your Lordships had become 
known to me I prepared to proceed to the kingdom of 
Si-san said to exist in the north. I left my residence at 
Asheho on the 6th day of the first month of 1850 on a 
sledge drawn by three horses and accompanied by the 
Christian converts Ho, Cheu and Chao. During the first 
three days of our journey we met with several hostelries on 
the road, but after we had passed the river Son-hoa-kiang 
(Sungari) these became scarcer, and the traveller is obliged 
to seek hospitality amongst the few colonists dispersed on 
the western bank of that river — a demand never refused. 
Numerous military stations are distributed on this western 
bank of the Sungari, each of which has a Mandarin and a 
tribunal. The distance from Asheho to Sansin is about 
fifty leagues, and we passed five days on the road. Sansin 
is situated at the confluence of the Sungari and the Mutan, 
on the eastern bank of the former and to the north of the 
latter. M. de la Brunifere had stayed in this town in 1845, 
and his assassination by the ' Long hair,' still formed the 
subject of conversation. In order to render my journey as 
secret as possible I thought it prudent not to stop here. In 
haste I supplied the deficiency occasioned in our provisions, 
made during a five days' march, and though night had almost 
set in proceeded with my sledge across the snow. It was 
almost midnight when we arrived at a small tavern. The 
intense cold, or perhaps rather copious libations after supper, 
rendered our landlord for a long time deaf to our appeals for 
shelter. At last, however, the door opened and a place was 


assigned us on the khang? Two took their turn in resting 
here, whilst the third watched the horses and the sledge on 
the roadside. 

" In order to avoid the Military Station built by the Em- 
peror at the confluence of the Sungari and Amur to prevent 
all intercourse between Sansin and the Hei-Kin district, we 
directed our course towards the Usuri (TJtze-kiang) and 
crossed that river where it receives the Imma (Ema), above 
its confluence with the Moli. Our first station was Wei-tze- 
keu, ten leagues from Sansin. 

" Wei-tze-keu consists of a group of villages situated 
within a radius of six leagues. Some agriculture is still 
carried on here and the population is pretty numerous. But 
going east, hostelries, cultivated lands or roads are no longer 
met with; only now and then we encounter in the midst of 
the wilderness the solitary hut of a ginseng dealer. Between 
Wei-tze-keu and Lnma-keu-tze (Ema), a distance of a 
hundred leagues, there are only a few solitary huts in the 
mountain-gorges. They are inhabited by old men — a 
woman is never seen here — whose occupation it is to fell 
trees which they leave to decay, when a kind of mushroom 
grows upon them which at Sansin forms the object of a 
lucrative traffic. 

" Scarcely ten leagues beyond Wei-tze-keu the paucity of 
snow compelled us to abandon our sledge, place the baggage 
on the back of our animals and travel on foot. We continued 
crossing the wilderness for twelve days, lodging sometimes 
in one of the huts just mentioned, but more frequently in the 
open air. On our arrival at our stopping place in the evening 
we cut down some wood, cooked our millet, and after 
supper peaceably fell asleep surrounded by an immense circle 
of burning embers, which protected us equally against the 

* The divan, an enclosed bench warmed by the smoke from the fire 
passing beneath it. 

102 m. venault's journey 

piercing cold and the teeth of the tiger. Thanks to God, 
we had not yet met during the whole of our journey with a 
single beast of prey, but scattered bones still covered with 
pieces of human flesh, and clothing recently torn and be- 
smeared with blood, reminded us of the precautions which 
it was necessary to take against the dwellers in the 

" Imma-keu-tze merely consists of a few houses inhabited 
by ginseng seekers. These men are homeless adventurers, 
gallows-birds who live here en famille with the proprietor of 
the house as chief. Gains and expenses are shared alike 
among all. Such a house is not a tavern, but a homestead 
of which you may become a member by presenting yourself ; 
a republic where anyone may acquire the rights of citizen- 
ship by participating in the labour of all. In such a com- 
munity I was obliged to stay for two months; it scarcely 
needed so long a time to make me desire to leave it. But I 
had neither guides nor a sledge, and, nilly- willy, was com- 
pelled to wait until the thawing should enable me to continue' 
my journey in a canoe. During these interminable months 
we frequently spoke to these ginseng seekers and Chinese or 
Alanchu travellers, who like ourselves sought shelter under 
the same roof, of God and our holy religion. But we spoke 
to men who had ears and would not hear, who had eyes and 
would not see. May the Lord deign to send down upon these 
vast regions a fire — not to destroy — but to enlighten the 
stultified understanding of these men, a fire to purify their 
hearts so profoundly degraded! 

" At last the thaw came. I had purchased a small canoe 
made of the trunk of a tree, about twenty-five feet long and 
two wide. I engaged a pagan Manchu as pilot, and paid 
him at the rate of ten taels of silver (£3 12s.) a month. I 
gave him the helm, my people and myself took to the oars, 
and on the 19th day of the third month (31st April) we 
departed for the country of the 'Long-hairs.' Notwithstanding 



the ten taels which we had paid to our Manchu, he only 
accompanied us with repugnance and ill grace. 

" The many absurd rumours afloat regarding me — I was 
said to be a Russian in command of a large army, which I 
was about to rejoin for the purpose of pillaging the country, 
or a sorcerer having power over life and limb — these rumours 
made my pilot singularly unwilling and ill-humoured. To 
these were added the statements of the merchants on our 
arrival at the Hai-tsing-yii-kiang about the ferocity with 
which the ' Long-hairs ' had murdered M. de la Bruniere ; 
their rapacity which would induce them to treat us the same, 
and rob us of our effects. Fear exasperated our Manchu's 
naturally irascible temperament, and God knows we had 
daily to suffer from his violence. 

" Apprehensive that he might desert us on the first 
opportunity, we engaged a second pilot, a Chinaman who had 
previously visited the Long-hairs and spoke their language. 
But instead of one tormentor we had now two. Not a day, 
not an hour, passed without some altercation, and of so 
satanic a kind that it scarcely is possible to imagine a one 
thousand tithe of it. Remonstrances would only have still 
more irritated them, and possibly put a stop to our further 
journeying, so promotive of the glory of God and the salvation 
of souls. I therefore held my peace and suffered in silence 
the insults of these leopards. He: ecce ego mitto vos sicut 
agnos in medio luporum. 

" Towards the end of the fourth moon we arrived at Mu- 
cheng (Dondon). This is neither a town nor a village but 
simply an enclosure of palisades in the centre of which 
stands a wooden house, which serves as a residence to the 
Mandarin, who comes here annually to collect the tribute in 
furs from the Tatars and give them in return a few pieces of 
silk. This official in attending to the interests of his master, 
neglects not his own. He, as well as the armed satellites, 
who accompany him to the number of thirty, traffic on their 

104 m. venault's journey 

private account. Woe to the natives upon whom he lays his 
hands, when ascending or descending the river. Having 
thoroughly exhausted them in pulling the barge with cudgel- 
ling at discretion, he compels them furthermore to purchase 
his merchandize and always at the highest figure. 

" As stated above, the emperor has established several 
military posts on the confluence of the Sungari and Hei-long 
(Amur), to prevent all communication between Sansin and 
the tribes to the north. A flotilla of from twelve to fifteen 
barges is sent down the river under the Mandarin spoken of, 
and in addition bodies of armed satellites commanded by sub- 
officers are sent annually to Mu-cheng to prevent the higher 
functionaries themselves from favouring smugglers. Never- 
theless, any one on paying a heavy bribe which the officials 
divide between them is allowed to pass. But the Son of 
Heaven may rest assured that these military posts, this 
flotilla, these armed men, maintained at a large expense, 
only serve to fill up the coffers of the Mandarins. In order 
to obviate paying for the right of passage, a great many 
barges descend to the sea previous to the arrival of the 
Mandarin at Mu-cheng, and only ascend to Sansin after his 
return. I did the same. After travelling twenty-four 
leagues we came to Aki, the first village of the * Long-hair.' 
This hamlet, though said to be the largest of the Chang- 
Mao-tze, is inhabited by only seven or eight families. I 
observed here with pleasure much more manly features than 
among the Twan-Moa-tze (Tatars who shave titahead), and 
and almost European physiognomies. I also eaw them 
embrace each other in sign of friendship, which I had seen 
nowhere in China. When brandy expands their hearts they 
are particulary prodigal in signs of affection. I made a small 
present to each family, but they received it without any sign 
of pleasure. Had it been a bottle of brandy, they would no 
doubt have better appreciated it. 

" Since our departure from Asheho wc had generally tra- 


veiled alone. But from Aki the number of barges following 
the same route increased much in number, and we were 
always in company. Great pains were taken to make me 
give up my intended journey to the sea ; all arts of rhetoric 
were employed to describe the terrible tortures which M. de 
la Bruniere had been subjected to. At last, when they saw 
I would not yield to the fear of undergoing the same fate, 
they came to menaces, fearing perhaps that the business 
which took me to these regions would injure their commerce. 
Notwithstanding these little friendly disputes, we kept in- 
viting each other to dine on each other's boats. 1 took 
advantage of such opportunities to speak eternal truths and 
to distribute good books. 

" In this way we came to Pulo opposite Uktu (TJkhtr), 
the last village of the ' Long hairs.' There my Manchu, 
whose fears had kept increasing the further we advanced, 
declared roundly he had had enough of this voyage, and 
nothing in the world should induce him to go further. My 
other companions did not refuse to remain with me, but I 
could plainly see their hearts began to fail. In my embar- 
rassment, I begged one of the merchants to take me on 
board his barge and conduct me to the sea ; but in vain. 
Not knowing what to do, I visited Pulo. I there found a 
man just returned from Sisan (Sakhalin) : seven barges had 
foundered in the bay in a gale of wind, his alone escaping. 
Great rejoicing consequently took place in the family of this 
merchant during my stay. I was obliged to share in them, 
and when the feast terminated availed myself of the good 
will of my entertainer to interest him in the success of my 
journey. A nephew of his agreed to conduct me down the 
river for ten taels. I left part of my merchandize as security, 
and we were again en route, not even excepting my Manchu 
pilot, who had taken fresh heart. We entered the country 
of the Ki-li-mi. f But scarcely had we advanced five leagues * 
f Gityaks. « Fifty leagues in the original. 

106 m. venault's journey 

when our progress was stopped by a new alarm. "We were 
told that the first Tillage, Hutong, we were about to approach, 
was the one near which M. de la Bruniere had been murdered, 
and that eight barges were lying in wait for us a little above 
it to make us share the same lot. The whole of my men 
refused to go any further. I sought an interpreter who 
understood the language of the Ki-li-mi, and I sent him 
forward with three of my companions to ascertain what was 
going on, and collect precise information regarding the 
melancholy fate of my former fellow-labourer. They were 
gone six days. The two men whom I had kept with me 
augured evil from the delay, and were about to abandon me, 
when I perceived two Kwai-ma h rapidly rowing towards us. 
They brought back to me my messengers, dripping wet, 
soaked to the skin. In the joy of the happy termination of 
their mission, the unlucky fellows had got drunk, quarrelled, 
and upset themselves in the river. They confirmed the 
report of M. de la Bruniere's death, and in corroboration 
brought several things which the murderers had taken from 
his barge. I abstain from giving the numerous versions of 
the cause of this act of ferocity, and restrict myself to the 
statement of one of the murderers as most worthy of credit. 
When my messengers arrived at Ilutong, all persons con- 
cerned in the murder, one excepted, had fled. This one 
remained in the village on the assurance of a merchant that 
I was not come to take vengeance. My people saw and 
interrogated him. According to his statement, 41. de la 
Bruni&re was engaged preparing his meal in a small bay, 
where he had sought shelter against a violent storm, when 
ten men, of whom the narrator was one, attracted by the 
prospect of booty to be expected from the strange priest, went 
towards him armed with bows and pikes. When they 
arrived at the bay seven of them landed, the others kept on 

h Swift boat, made of birch bark. 


their bout. Having hit M. de la Bruniere with several 
arrows, the seven Ki-li-mi went on his boat and struck him 
with their pikes. The last stroke fractured his skull and 
proved mortal. During the whole of this tragedy, M. de la 
Bruniere remained seated quietly in his boat, without speak- 
ing a word; no complaint escaped his lips. In silence 
he offered himself a sacrifice before God, in the conversion 
of the people, whose salvation had constantly occupied 
his thoughts from his first entrance into Manchuria. It is 
currently reported among Chinese and Tatars, that after his 
death the Ki-li-mi wrenched out the teeth of their victim, 
tore out his eyes, and mutilated the corpse most frightftdly. 
The body was thrown ashore, and after a few days washed 
away by the river. The natives pretended to have seen the 
stranger walking the scene of the outrage since, an apparition 
which caused them much fear. 

" This crime consummated, the assassins divided the booty. 
I have since then seen many children wearing miraculous 
medals and small crosses. The silver was converted into 
earrings for the women. The murderer whom my messengers 
saw appeared to repent of the deed. Of his own will he 
restored his part of the spoils, consisting in an ornament, 
a holy stone, a silver cup for mass, the remains of a thermo- 
meter, and two compasses. Besides this, my messengers, in 
concert with three headmen of Kilimi villages, imposed a 
fine upon him, which he submitted to without much difficulty. 
It consisted of five pots, two spears, two Mang Pao (dresses 
embroidered in various colours, such as are worn by the man- 
darins), a skin dress, a piece of satin and a sabre. The 
spears will remain in the hands of the interpreters as a me- 
mento of the peace concluded between us and the murderers. 
When these objects had been delivered to my messengers, in 
presence of the three chiefs, an act of reconciliation was 
signed, of which one copy remained with the Kilimi, and the 
other was forwarded to me. It is as follows : — 

108 m. venatjlt's journey 

" ' In the thirtieth year of the Emperor Tao Kwang, Shien- 
Wen-Ming (M. Venault) and Chen-Tu-Chu (one of the 
Christians) came to demand satisfaction for a murder com- 
mitted in the twenty-sixth year upon the person of a 
missionary called Pao (M. de la Bruniere) by men belonging 
to the villages Arckong, Sioloin, and Hutong, and peace has 
been restored between both parties. The above villages 
engage not to incommodate for the future any travellers who 
may come on barges during the summer, or on sledges 
during the winter ; but promise to treat them as brothers. 
The relatives and friends of the priest Pao promise on their 
part not to revenge the assassination of the twenty-sixth year 
of Tao Kwang. But as the spoken word passes away and is 
forgotten, these engagements have been put on paper by both 
parties, in presence of the interpreters, who are charged with 
seeing them properly carried out. 

" ' The witnesses : Chen-Tu Chu and Shang-Shwen. 

" ' The interpreters : San In Ho and I Tu Nu of the 
village of Ngao-lai, Tien-I-Tee Nu and Shy Tee Nu of Kian 
Pan, Hu Pu and Si Nu of Hutong.' 

" But whilst peace was being thus concluded on the one 
hand, strife broke out on the other. I had promised to dis- 
tribute among my guides the fine paid by the Kilimi. They 
did not, however, wait for my decision ; each took what suited 
his fancy, they quarrelled, and from words they came to 
blows and knife-thrusts. Disheartened by so many disasters 
my two Neophytes refused to go any further, and I was 
obliged after all to give up my journey to Sisan. I there- 
fore returned to Pulo, and prepared to proceed home, as 
soon as the mandarin should have quitted Mucheng with 
his flotilla. 

" I had been there about a month when the news spread 
that the Chinese were coming to surprise us. We hastily 
concealed our baggage in a store-house, and with my two 
Christians I retreated to the neighbouring forest. It was 


the night of Assumption. Our only provision consisted of 
some rice- wine, but Providence ordained that we should meet 
at the skirt of the forest two women, carrying millet and 
dried fish, part of which they gave us in exchange for our 
wine. On the following day, towards evening, pressed by 
hunger, we cautiously ascended a small hill, where I saw on 
the river, not far from the wood, a solitary canoe with a man 
in it. He took my belt in exchange for some rice which we 
cooked in a hollow where the rising smoke would not easily 
betray us. Our meal was not very copious, and soon finished. 
Before lying down to sleep, I went aside to pray, when I 
heard several men advancing towards our retreat, and im- 
patiently calling upon us. I feared the mandarin had 
received information of our whereabouts, and that he desired 
a nearer acquaintanceship. I therefore let them shout and 
beat the bush, concealing myself in the dense shrubs cover- 
ing the ground. After a time all was silent and I fell asleep. 
On the following day our first care was to procure food. 
We walked a long distance without encountering any habita- 
tions, but at last came to a village where we heard the good 
news of the mandarin's return to Sansin. 

" Whilst hidden in the woods, my two pilots and the man 
in whose house I had lodged had been flogged on suspicion 
of knowing about my evasion, and only got out of the hands 
of the mandarin on giving up to him their dresses, furs, etc., 
in short, all they were possessed of. I was obliged to 
indemnify these unfortunates, not only for their loss, but also 
for the cudgelling. To increase my misfortune, the Chinese 
pilot had remained on the spot when I concealed my effects 
in the stone-house on the day of my flight. My trunk had 
become an object of affection to his heart, and previous to 
flying himself, he wanted to have a last peep into it ; and on 
my return, my watch, a silver cup, a compass, and a pair of 
scissors, were missing. 

"Notwithstanding this accumulation of obstacles, I still 

110 m. venault's journey 

thought of Sisan. The refusal of all parties to accompany 
me obliged me, however, to forego this journey — one of the 
principal objects of my voyage— and to return to my station 
at Asheho. I arrived there on the sixth day of the ninth 
month, nine months after my departure. I only brought 
back with me skin and bones ; more than two hundred and 
forty taels had been expended on the journey ; I had sold 
my clothes and even lost my breviary. 

"Throughout, I was taken for a Russian. Russians 
frequently make their appearance among the Kilimi and 
* Long-hair,' with whom they carry on trade. I have seen 
with these tribes various objects of European origin, such as 
pots, hatchets, knives, buttons, playing-cards, and even a 
silver coin of recent date, which they had obtained in this 
way. At Pulo I was told that in April 1850 several 
Russians had come to select the site for building a town. 
Six days after I had left the Kilimi village of Heng-kong-ta, 
on my return to Pulo, a boat with seven Russians arrived 
there. Had the difficulty of ascending the river not detained 
them, they would have met me at that place. Kilimi, Long- 
hair and Chinese, all - assert, that the Russians are going to 
build a town and take possession of the country. May not 
Divine providence have appointed them to open to us the 
islands north of Japan ? 

" A few words now on the chances of success which these 
regions offer to the propagation of the Gospel. Between 
Asheho and Sansin, few families are met with; there are 
only soldiers and vagabonds, whose life is passed in gambling, 
in orgies, in excesses of the most disgraceful debauchery. 
Sansin, with its environs, is a second Sodom. 

"The Yupitatze of the TJsuri are big children, affable 
and hospitable; but unfortunately they have adopted the 
vices of the Chinese with whom they are constantly in 
contact. Their superstition on commencing the respective 
seasons for hunting and fishing, as well as their long and 


frequent journeyings, present obstacles which the missionary- 
would find it difficult to surmount. 

" The Yupitatze of the Amur are gross, more cruel, and 
addicted to drink. 

" The Long-hair and Kilimi surpass all other tribes in 
ferocity, lust of plunder and thirst for blood, especially when 
they are drunk, which happens every day. A missionary 
desirous of converting them would be sure of much suffering : 
but if the difficulties are great, the power of God is still 
greater. Courage, therefore, and confidence ! The blood of 
the righteous which the ungrateful earth has drunk, calls for 
mercy towards it ; it renders it fertile and makes it bring 
forth fruits of salvation. 

" I have stated to your lordships the reasons which pre- 
vented my going to Sisan. But I will at least give the 
result of the inquiries I have made respecting it. The 
Chinese barges which descend the Amur to the sea never 
visit Sisan, which is separated from the continent by a narrow 
strait which they dare not cross. The more hardy Yupi- 
tatze however go there annually. They depart in the fifth 
moon, pass the winter on the island hunting or trading, and 
return in the spring of the following year. Their cargoes 
consist of millet, spirits and silks, which they exchange for 
furs. A Long-hair of Heng-kong-ta proposed to take me 
there in the following year, and a similar offer was made to 
me by a merchant of Sansin. The shortest route would be 
to leave the Amur at Cha-She, sixty leagues above Pulo. 
The country thence to the sea may be traversed in sledges 
in four days, and another day, with a favourable wind, would 
suffice to cross the strait. 

" From all information Sisan appears to be identical with 
the island of Karaftu or Tarakai, half of which is subject to 
Japan, and for this reason the Chinese call it indifferently 
Sisan or Shepen (Japan)." 

After his return, M. Venault remained at Asheho. In 


1852 he removed to Girin with the intention of building an 
oratory. He was, however, denounced by the Pagans, and 
had to fly for his life. Christians of both sexes were taken 
to prison in chains, but were subsequently all ransomed on 
the payment of £120. 

In 1856 the Roman Catholics had six chapels and several 
oratories in southern Manchuria. The number of converts 
is stated to have been 5000 souls. The chapels are con- 
structed in the Chinese style, but with Gothic windows, doors, 
and portals. The interior is ornamented as far as their 
means and other circumstances permit, and it is these out- 
ward forms, this appeal to the senses of the people, to which 
we must mainly ascribe the success of the Romish 




It was not long after the treaty of Nerchinsk, by which 
Russia had ceded to China her rights to the Amur, when the 
advantages which might accrue to the development of 
Siberia generally, and to the settlements on the Pacific in 
particular, began to be recognised. Muller, the historian, 
was the first to point out in 1741 how desirable it would 
/ be to acquire the right of freely navigating the Amur, 

"* and to send down it the provisions for the settlements 
in Kamchatka. In addition to this, Chirikof, the com- 
panion of Bering, advocated in 1746 the establishment of 
a post at its mouth. The subject was again broached in 
1753 by Myetlef, then Governor of Siberia, who handed in a - 
project for provisioning the Pacific settlements by way of the 
Amur. In 1805 Krusenstern proposed to occupy Aniwa 

. Bay at the southern extremity of Sakhalin, of course as a 
stepping-stone to further acquisitions on the coast of Man- 
churia; and in the following year a Russian Lieutenant, 
Chwostof, actually took possession of the bay in the name of 
. the Emperor by distributing some medals and proclamations 
among the native chiefs. This proceeding however was 
disavowed by the government. At about the same time 
Golovkin went on a mission to Peking, where he was ordered 
to treat for free navigation of the Amur, or at all events to 
gain permission annually to send a few ships with provisions 
down the river. But the Chinese were unwilling to make 
any concession whatever. To coerce them, Kornilof, the 
governor of Irkutsk proposed to make a hostile demonstration 

* by constructing an Amur flotilla of gunboats. Again in 1816, 


; Shemelin of the Russo- American Company spoke very freely 
.on the advantages Russia would derive by again occupying 
j the Amur. He states that 14,000 to 15,000 pack-horses are 
required every year to carry the necessary provisions for the 
settlements on the Pacific, at an expense of fifty-eight to 
seventy-seven shillings per cwt, for ever$ six hundred and 
sixty miles transport. The price of flour at Kamchatka con- 
sequently amounted to thirty-six rubles a cwt. R Still more 
recently the opinion appeared to gain ground in Siberia that 
Russia would again occupy the Amur, and a fur-trader at Udsk, 
who had on hand a large stock of small brass crosses, effected 
a rapid sale by working upon the fears of the natives. He 
told them that a Russian ship would ascend the Amur, and 
all those not wearing crosses would then be put to death. 
This happened in 1830, and we can scarcely believe the 
statement of this merchant to have been entirely a fabrica- 
tion. Middendorf's journey in 1844 along the supposed 
frontier, though not of a political character, and undertaken 
in opposition to the express orders of the Academy, never- 
theless served to draw the attention of the home authorities 
to the regions of the Amur. Another sign of the interest 
taken in the Amur was evinced by the publication in Russian 
papers, including several government organs, of numerous 
accounts of early Russian adventure on the Amur. 

When therefore Count Nikolas Muravief became governor 
of Eastern Siberia in 1847, one of the first acts of his 
government was to send an officer with four Cossacks down 
the Amur. Vaganof, the companion of Middendorf, was 
entrusted with this task. He left TTst Strelka in the spring 
of 1848, but since then no tidings have arrived from him, 
v . and he probably fell by the hand of some natives or was 
drowned. The Chinese frontier authorities were applied to, 
and his surrender demanded on the allegation of his being a 

In 1852 a cow cost eleven pounds, a fowl twenty-five shillings, a 
pound of flour eightpence-halfpenny, a pound of meat sixpence. 


deserter, but they pleaded ignorance. The fate of this ; i 
pioneer did not however stop the preparations to obtain a / 
footing on the Amur. ' 

Muravief, as a second preliminary step, gave orders to / 
explore the coasts of the sea of Okhotsk and the mouth of* 
the Amur. These preparations, it was also believed, might be * 


the means of securing to Russia part of the whale fishery in 
the sea of Okhotsk, which was being carried on by 
Americans, English, French, and even Germans, to the 
entire exclusion of Russians. Captain, now Rear- Admiral 


Nevilskoi left Kronstadt in the Baikal in 1848, and several 
officers of the Russo- American Company were placed under 
his orders when he arrived out there. Lieut. Gavrilof of the 
t Constantine had in the year previous explored the Ionian 
of the Amur. Capt. Poplonski and Lieut. Savin laid down 
the coast of the Shantar islands. Lieut. Orlof of the Russo- 
American Company continued the survey in a boat towards the 
Amur, and on the day of St. Peter and Paul he discovered the 
Bay of Fortune (Chastnia), where he founded the post Petrov- 
skoi to serve as a winter station. The position of this post was 
however very badly chosen ; it was scarcely accessible to 
ships, and was subsequently abandoned as useless. 
,' In 1850 Lieut. Orlof entered the mouth of the Amur. b 
(At that time the report was spread generally among the 
Natives, even at some distance from the mouth of the river, 
that the Russians were coming with a large army to occupy 
the country. Orlof sent a boat up the river to select a site 
for a town, and in 1851 Nikolayevsk and Mariinsk were 
founded by Capt. Nevilskoi to serve as trading posts of the 
Russo- American Company. Russia had thus got a footing 
/on the Lower Amur. In the following year, 1852, no pro- 
gress appears to have been made on the Amur itself; but a 
detachment was sent from Ayan permanently to occupy the 
island of Urup, one of the Kuriles to which the Japanese 
preferred a claim, though Urup was not occupied by them, 
whereas it was occasionally visited by Russian hunters. 
Lieut. Bashnak discovered Port Imperial (Barracouta Bay) 
on the coast of Manchuria. 

In 1853 Alexandrovsk post in Castries Bay, and Konstan- 

jtinovsk in Port Imperial were founded. In the autumn 

Admiral Putiatin, who was then staying in Japan with the 

Pallas, Olivutzu, Vostok and Menshikof, despatched Captain 

b In the samo year a Russian chapel was built at the confluence of 
the Bureya and Niman, near one of the Chinese frontier marks dis- 
covered by Middendorf . 


Rimsky-Korsakof of the Vostok steamer to the Amur, where 
he wintered. In October Major Busse with one hundred 
and fifty men occupied Aniwa Bay, where the post of Mura- 
vief was established, and a small detachment was sent to 
Dui, on the west coast of Sakhalin, a place where coals are 

The year 1854 is specially remarkable in the history of ' 
the Amur for the first military expedition under the personal 
conduct of General Muravief descending it from the Trans- 
baikal provinces. Russia had at that time in the Pacific 
three frigates (the Pallas, Diana and Aurora), and several 
smaller vessels, and owing to the outbreak of hostilities 
between Russia and the Western Powers, fears were enter- 
tained that the vessels might be left in want of the necessary 
provisions. The Russian settlements in the Pacific them- 
selves depended at that time upon a foreign supply, and the 
only feasible plan was to send the provisions from Siberia 
down the Amur. Muravief easily gained the consent of his 
own government to that decisive step. That of the Chinese 
authorities was asked for, but neither the governor at Mai- 
machin (Kiakhta), nor the vice-king at Urga could grant it 
without reference to Peking. There is no doubt about the 
answer which would have been returned had the decision of 
the Peking government been waited for. Moreover, no time 
was to be lost, and having completed his preparations Mu- 
ravief started with his expedition, and entered the territory 
of a neighbouring state, with whom Russia was at peace at 
that time. We will not pause here to inquire in how far \ 
Russia was justified in that step. Supplies were urgently 
required on the Lower Amur, and " necessity has no law." 
Muravief left Shilinsk on the 27th May in the steamer 
• This steamer was purchased in England, and left Southampton in 
January 1853 in company with the Pallas frigate, commanded by 
Admiral Putiatin. 



Argun (the machinery of which had been constructed at 
Petrovsk), fifty barges and numerous rafts. He was escorted 
by a battalion of infantry of the line and some Cossacks, in 
all a thousand men, with several guns. In his suite were 
Permikin, Anosof and Gerstfeldt, entrusted with a scientific 
mission by the Siberian branch of the Russian Geographical 
v/ Society, Lieut. Popof of the Topographical Corps who 
made a sketch survey of the river, Capts. Sverbeef and 
Bibikof. Most of these gentlemen have published accounts 
of this journey. d On the 7th June the expedition anchored 


off Amba Sakhalin, the first Manchu village, and several 
officers crossed over and landed, but excepting several old 
men and three younger ones the inhabitants had fled to the 
neighbouring town. The young Manchu, however, soon got 
on a friendly footing, and returned the visit of the Russians 

d Permikin's Description of the River Amur in Memoirs of the Sibe- 
rian branch of the Russ, Geog. Soa, vol. ii. ; Anosof s Geological Sketch 
of the River Amur, with map, ibid. vol. i. ; Sverbeef s Description of the 
Governor-GeneraTs Voyage down the Amur, ibid. vol. iii. ; Permikin's 
and Anosof s Description of the Amur, in the Viestnik, 1855. 


on board their barges where they received a few small pre- 
sents. On the following day at ten o'clock in the morning, 
the expedition arrived at Aigun. The steamer anchored 
close to the town, and the barges and rafts formed a line on 
the opposite bank. In the "port" were seen thirty-five 
Chinese junks, each of five or six tons burthen. Several 
members of the expedition landed and were received by the 
governor and three other functionaries and invited to enter 
a tent pitched close to the bank of the river. The whole 
garrison was drawn up near the tent, in all about 1000 men 
miserably armed. Most of them carried a pole blackened at 
the top to represent a lance ; a few only had matchlocks, and 
by far the greater number bows and quivers slung across 
the back. In rear of the troops stood some guns mounted 
on clumsy red carriages of very rough workmanship, and 
protected against sun and rain by a conical birch-bark roof 
also painted red. A man holding a match, or perhaps only 
a stick blackened at the top, stood beside each gun. Evi- 
dently the Chinese in that quarter had made no progress 
during the last two centuries. Soldiers as well as other 
people curiously pressed into the tent whilst the palaver was 
going on there, and it was necessary to drive them out with 
sticks. Admittance to the town was refused, the governor 
alleging he could not grant it without superior orders from 
Peking, otherwise he would expose himself to the whole 
severity of the laws prohibiting the entrance of strangers. 
Muravief not thinking it desirable to provoke any ill feeling, 
re-embarked and continued his journey down the river. On 
the 27th June he arrived at Mariinsk, and with part of his 
retinue he returned by way of Ayan to Irkutsk. Permikin 
left Mariinsk on the 2nd July in a boat with five rowers, 
and after seven days arrived at Nikolayevsk. Heavy rains 
detained him here for two days, when he continued his 
journey to Petrovsk whence the schooner Vostok took him 
to Ayan. Muravief hastened from Mariinsk to Port Imperial 



where he met Admiral Putiatin of the Pallas. Neither the 
Pallas, nor the Diana, which arrived subsequently, could 
enter the mouth of the Amur, and proceeded therefore to 
Gape Lazaref to take in the provisions intended for them. 

The commencement of a scientific exploration had been 
made by the gentleman attached to Muravief 's expedition. 
In the same year however two other gentlemen arrived on the 


Amur ; we allude to the naturalists Leopold von Schrenck 
and Charles Maximowicz, the former of whom directed his 
special attention to the animal world, whilst the latter in- 
vestigated the botany of the new territories. Leopold von 
Schrenck had been attached at the instance of the Russian 
Academy to the frigate Aurora, which left Kronstadt on the 
2nd Sept. 1853. She arrived on the 15th April 1854 at 
Gallao, where she found at anchor four French and English 
frigates awaiting the official news of the declaration of war. 
Without delay she continued her voyage, crossed the Pacific 
with a favourable wind, but on arriving near the southern 
Euriles contrary winds and the health of the crew compelled 
her to put in at Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, 30th June. 


Schrenck was here transferred to the Olivutzu, Capt. Nasimof , 
which was sent by the governor to Castries Bay. On the 
6th August he put into Port Imperial, where the garrison at 
that time consisted of eleven men only, and he arrived on 
the 11th at Castries Bay. The Olivutzu remained here, but 
Schrenck was enabled to continue his journey to the Amur on 
the steamer Vostok which had just come in with coals from 
Cape Dili. At Cape Lazaref he found at anchor the frigates 
Diana and Pallas, which owing to the shallow water could 
not get further. Maximowicz, who was on board the former, 
joined Schrenck on the Vostok, and after running aground 
several times both reached Nikolayevsk on the 18th August. 
Maximowicz had been attached as Botanist to the Diana 
for the purpose of collecting plants for the Imperial Botanical 
* Gardens at St. Petersburg. The Diana arrived at Castries 
Bay on the 23rd July 1854, and owing to the outbreak of 
the war, he was obliged to leave the ship. The time up to 
his leaving Castries Bay, 6th August, was spent in botanical 
excursions. Schrenck wintered at Nikolayevsk, but Max- 
imowicz continued his journey on the 19th September to 
Mariinsk, where he staid during the winter, and in October 
made an excursion to Castries Bay to explore the marine 

The Pallas not proving any longer sea- worthy had her 
guns taken out at Cape Lazaref, and was then sent to Port 
Imperial and burnt in the following spring, the small detach- 
ment left to guard her returning by land to Mariinsk. The 
Diana with Admiral Putiatin went to Japan. 

At the time of the outbreak of hostilities in 1854, the 
strength of the Russians on the Amur was very inconsidera- 
ble. The post Muravief in Aniwa Bay had been abandoned, 
the garrison proceeding to the Amur; and the place was again 
occupied by the Japanese. Xonstantinovsk in Port Imperial 
was guarded by a few men only. Alexandrovsk in Castries 
Bay had also been evacuated. On the Amur itself Niko- 


layevsk and Mariinsk alone were occupied ; but the garrison 
of both certainly did not exceed 1000 men. Petrovsk, a 
block-house, on Fortune Bay, north of the Amur, still 
existed, but was not capable of offering the least resistance. 
The military strength of Russia had been concentrated at 
Petropavlovsk, and reinforcements had been sent there by 
the Olivutzu from Castries Bay. The naval forces were 
equally insignificant. The Diana frigate lay at Simoda in 
Japan ; the Pallas, sixty, a hulk in Port Imperial. At Petro- 
pavlovsk were the Aurora frigate, forty-four, the store-ship, 
Dvina, ten, and the transports Baikal, four, and Irtish, six 
guns. The Okhotsk brig, six, of the Russo- American Com- 
pany was stationed at Ayan, and at the latter part of the 
year was drawn ashore at Petrovsk to undergo repairs. 
Some other vessels of the Company, the Constantine, Turko, ' 
Eodiak, Menshikof, were afloat in the sea of Okhotsk, but 
not being armed no account need be taken of them. 

The allies were mustering their forces on the American 
coast. On the 7th May, the Virago arrived at Callao with 
official news of the declaration of war, but did not leave before 
the 17th May, allowing ample time to the frigates Aurora 
and Diana to reach a place of shelter. The Artemise and 
Amphitrite, twenty-five, having been sent to California, the 
allied squadron had the following strength : — 

English — President, frigate . 50 guns. Admiral Price. 

Pique „ 

. 40 


Virago, steamer 

. 6 


Obligado, brig . 

. 12 


French — Forte, frigate 

. 60 

„ Admiral Febvrier 

Eurydice, corvette 

. 22 


A total of six vessels, with one hundred and ninety guns 
and about 2000 men, and including but one miserable 
steamer, of two hundred and twenty horse power. On the 
28th August this squadron arrived off Petropavlovsk. The 


ships were painted black to conceal their strength. In the 
afternoon Admiral Price reconnoitred the fort on board thte 
Virago. The Russians had made ample preparations for a 
vigorous defence. The nine batteries of the place mounted 
fifty-two guns of heavy calibre,* and the Aurora and Dvina 
were moored behind a spit of land in a rather disadvantageous 
position, their broadsides facing the harbour. The Russian 
garrison, including ships' crews, was less than eight hundred 
men. The odds certainly were on the side of the Allies, and 
considering the weight of their armaments they had a fair 
chance of success. On the following day the squadron was 
just moving in to commence the attack, when the suicide of 
Admiral Price, committed, it would appear, in a temporary 
fit of despondency, put a sudden stop to further proceedings. 
The command now devolved upon the French Admiral, a 
very old and infirm officer. 

On the 1st September, the Virago towed in the President, 
fifty, Forte, sixty, and Pique, forty, but notwithstanding the 
calm she could scarely get ahead, and dropped the frigates 
much further from the Russian batteries than was desirable. 
A small battery of three guns was however soon silenced, and 
the guns spiked by a landing party. The circular five-gun 
battery on Shakof Point was also silenced for that day. The 
eleven-gun battery on the spit of land behind which were 
moored the Russian vessels, proved more troublesome, but 
after a time also ceased her fire. In the evening the Allied 
ships were hauled out of range of the enemy's guns. 

On the following day, the 2nd September, Admiral Price 
was buried in a sequestered spot of the bay. A stormy war- 
council was held at night, and it was resolved to take the 
place by assault, a scheme opposed by the timid French 
Admiral. Sunday the 3rd September was passed in prepara- 
tions. On Monday a landing party of seven hundred men — 

• Four Paixhan guns, the others thirty-six and twenty-four pounders. 


four hundred and twenty English and two hundred and 
eighty French— were placed on board the Virago, which 
again towed in the President and Forte. The frigates took 
up their positions six hundred yards in front of two batteries 
of seven and five guns respectively, and having silenced 
them the landing party was disembarked under the direction 
of Captain Parker, R.N. It was found impossible to restrain 
the men, and without any order they scrambled up a hill 
overgrown with brushwood where they could not distinguish 
friends from foes. Arrived on the top of the hill, a Russian 
battery of two guns opened fire upon them and in indescrib- 
able confusion they fled towards the sea. Had it not been 
for the guns of the Virago, which daringly approached to 
within a few yards of the coast, the loss would have been 
more considerable. That of the English was one officer and 
twenty-five men killed, eight officers and seventy-three men 
wounded. The French had three officers killed and five 
wounded. The Russians took two prisoners also. On the 
5th the fallen were buried in Tarenski Bay, and on the 6th 
the squadron left. On getting outside two strange sails 
appeared in sight, and turned out to be the Anadir schooner 
with provisions for Petropavlovsk, and the Sitka of the 
Russo- American Company, of seven hundred tons, with 
military stores from Ayan. Both were taken and the former 

The English went to Vancouver, the French to California, 
whence dispatches were sent to Europe, which arrived there 
at the end of 1854. Admirals Bruce and Fournichon were 
appointed to succeed Admirals Price and Febvrier Des- 
pointe8. The latter officer however died on the 5th March 
off Callao. Reinforcements were promised, and imperative 
orders were given to take Petropavlovsk. The Russians at 
that place .were further reinforced by the Olivutzu from 
Castries Bay, and the Kodiak, which had been staying at 
Bolsheresh on the west coast of Kamchatka. They strength- 


ened their fortifications still more and repaired the damage 
done ; but on the 17th March orders arrived from St. Peters- 
burg to abandon the place. The guns and ammunition were 
at once put on board the ships, a passage was cut through 
the ice, and they left on the 17th April 1855, and safely 
reached Castries Bay. 

Considerable activity was displayed by Russia in 1855. 
Three more expeditions left Shilkinsk in the course of the ' 
year, and conveyed down the river altogether three thousand j 
soldiers, five hundred Colonists, with cattle, horses, pro- / 
visions, agricultural implements, and military stores. Gen. - 


Muravief himself accompanied the first of these expeditions, 
which started in May. The Chinese were either unwilling 
or unable to oppose the passage of the Russians, and con- 
tented themselves with carefully taking note of the Russian 
barges floating past. For as yet Russia had not attempted 
to make any settlement on the upper or middle part of the 
river, the presence of the allied fleets in the Pacific render- 
ing it necessary to assemble as great a force as possible on 
the Lower Amur, in case any attempt should be made to land. 
The Chinese, however, took some notice of the doings off 
Russia, and in July some Mandarins on four junks came to ! 
Nikolayevsk to negociate about the boundaries, but not being 
of sufficient rank General Muravief refused to treat with 
them/ 1 

Gerstfeldt, in August 1855, remarks upon the progress * 
made on the lower Amur. Mariinsk, which in the preceding [ 
year consisted of two log-houses only, now extended for some \ 
distance along the bank of the river, and was defended by 

f According to another authority, these Mandarins came to protest 
against the occupation of the Amur ; their attention, however, was 
drawn to the guns and military forces assembled, and they left their 
purpose unattained. 


two batteries. A considerable part of the forest had been 
cleared and a "park" laid out for the enjoyment of the 
inhabitants.' This island of Suchi, where in former times 
stood Kosogorski, was occupied by a Cossack village, sur- 
rounded by " gardens, fields and meadows." The Tillages 
of Irkutskoi, Bogorodskoi and Mikhailovsk had been founded 
in the summer by colonists who came down the river, and 
who were engaged there ploughing the fields. Their houses 
•j had already been built. Progress was however most ap- 
I parent at Nikolayevsk. The population had been largely 
1 increased by the arrival of the garrison of Petropavlovsk, 
j and instead of ten houses there were now one hundred and 
! fitfy. There was a club-house, with " ball-room, dining and 
reading-room, ,,h a warm bath and two schools, and the town 
was defended by three batteries mounting sixty guns. In 
the harbour might be seen the schooner Liman, facetiously 
called the " Grandfather" of the Russian Navy of the Amur, 
the first vessel built by Peter the Great having been called 
"Grandmother." The vessels escaped from Petropavlovsk 
were lying in the winter-harbour. 

Castries Bay had been re-occupied in June, and in addi- 
tion to four badly built huts, a convenient summer camp for 
five hundred men, and a winter camp consisting of six large 
and several small log houses were completed in the course of 
the year. A small detachment was still stationed at Port 
Imperial commanded by Lieutenant Kusnezof, but in 
January 1856 the post was abandoned, and the garrison fell 
back upon Mariinsk. 

The operations of the allied fleets in the Pacific in 1855 
'were on a much more extended scale than in the year 
receding, but the results were equally insignificant. One 
' squadron, commanded by Admiral Bruce, operated in the sea 

« The neighbouring village of Kidzi was purchased from the Olcha, 
and settled by a battalion of infantry of the line. 
h Mr. Gerstfeldt is fond of using high-flown language. 




of Okhotsk; and a second, commanded by Admiral Sir 
James Stirling, in the South. It may be presumption in a 
civilian to offer any comments on naval operations, but we 
cannot help thinking that a fleet of seventeen vessels ought 
to have been sufficient to blockade the northern and southern 
entrances of the Amur, had it even been found injudicious to 
attack the Russian stations on the Lower Amur. This 
attempt, indeed, might have been attended with considerable 
loss of life, without leading to any commensurate benefit. 
The naval force of the Russians was utterly insignificant, 
and, as at Sebastopol, did not dare to show its face. The 
Diana frigate had been wrecked in Simoda Bay ; the Pallas, 
was lying a hulk in Port Imperial ; and of vessels actually 
in a position to show fight there were but seven, the frigate 
Aurora, forty-four ; the corvette Olivutzu, twenty ; the 
transports Baikal, six ; Dvina, ten ; and Irtish, six ; the 
small steamer Yostok, four; and the cutter Kodiak. 
The few vessels of the Russo- American Company were glad 
to find a refuge in the neutralized 1 territories of North- 
western America. On the other hand the Allies had at their 
disposal five steamers and twelve sailing vessels, viz. 
English : the steamers Hornet, seventeen ; Encounter, four- 
teen ; Barracouta, Brisk and Styx, each of six guns ; the 
sailing vessels : President, fifty ; Winchester, fifty ; Sybille, 
forty; Pique, forty; Amphitrite, twenty-five; Spartan, 
twenty-four ; Dido, eighteen ; and Bittern, twelve : total, 
three hundred and eight guns. The French had only four 
sailing vessels, the Alceste of fifty guns ; the Sibylle, fifty ; 
the Constantino, thirty ; and the Eurydice, twenty-two : 
their steamers, the Colbert and Jean d' Arc, ran aground and 
were not available. The grand total is thus seventeen 
vessels, with four hundred and eighty guns. 

A rendezvous was appointed for the vessels belonging to 
the squadron of Admiral Bruce under fifty degrees north- 

1 The American possessions of Russia had been declared neutral. 


latitude and one hundred and sixty degrees east longitude, 
off the post of Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. The Encounter 
and Barracouta arrived there on the 14th of April, and 
cruized off the port, but owing to dense fogs the Russians, 
who left the Bay on the 17th, escaped their noticed By the 
23rd of May the other vesssels had arrived, and the squadron 
was composed then of the 

President, sailing frigate, 50 guns. 

Alceste, „ „ 50 „ 

Pique, „ „ 40 „ 

Dido, corvette 18 „ 

Encounter, screw 14 „ 

Barracouta, steamer 6 „ 

Brisk, screw 6 „ 

Total, seven vessels with 184 guns. 

and about 2,000 men. All of them, the Alceste excepted, 
were English. Owing to dense fogs it was necessary to 
delay entering the port until the 31st, but the town was 
found deserted, the inhabitants had been removed to the 
interior and the American colours were flying over one of 
the stores. The batteries were razed by the Allies and the 
government buildings burnt down, the latter, however, 
without the sanction of the Admiral. The Dido was sent to 
the north to look for a privateer, and on the 3rd of June 
three boats were sent from the President to capture the 
Ayan whaler of four hundred tons found in Rakovia 
harbour. The sails, boats and anchors had been taken from 
her. She was burnt. Another whaler, the Turko, had 
safely effected her escape to Kojak, in neutral territory. 
On the 11th the Amphitrite, twenty-five, and Eurydice, 

J The Heda with Admiral Putiatin entered Petropavlovsk on the 21st 
of May, and saw four ships cruizing off the port. 


twenty-two, arrived with despatches from the south ; Admiral 
Bruce thereupon gave up the pursuit of the Russians in the 
sea of Okhotsk ; but on the 13th he despatched the Barracouta, 
Pique, and Amphitrite to Ayan, and the Encounter, to 
reinforce the squadron of Sir James Stirling in Japan. 
With the remaining five vessels Admiral Bruce returned to 
the American coast, looked in at Sitka harbour on the 13th 
July, but finding no preparations made for defence, nor any 
men-of-war there, he continued his voyage to California. 
None of his ships took further part in the operations against 
the Russians. 

The three yessels, Barracouta, Pique, and Amphitrite, 
ordered to Ayan, arrived there on the 7th July. On their 
approach the Russian flag was lowered, and the town eva- 
cuated. A few whalers were at anchor. The batteries had 
been razed by the Russians. The property of the Russo- 
American Company, including a small steamer then on the 
stocks, was destroyed. On the 15th the squadron again left 
Ayan, and two days after, when off Cape Elizabeth, fell in 
with Sir James Stirling's squadron. 

We now turn to the proceedings of Sir James Stirling in 
more southern latitudes. The Sybille, forty, Hornet, seventeen, 
and Bittern, twelve, commanded by Commodore the Hon. 
C. GL Elliot had left Hong-kong on the 7th April, arrived at 
Hakodadi on the 29th, and on the 7th May started for the 
north, on a reconnoitring expedition, to the Channel of 
Tatary . At Jonqui&re Bay, where the squadron arrived on the 
18th, they met some natives who had seen three vessels pass 
up the gulf about five or six days previously. These no 
doubt were some of the Russian ships escaped from Petro- 
pavlovsk, and actually, when Commodore Elliot arrived off 
Castries Bay he could see some vessels under the land. The 
Bittern was sent to reconnoitre the enemy's position, and 
when off the harbour signalled a large frigate, three 



corvettes, a brig, and a steamer. k The Hornet in the mean 
time, had got up steam, and when at five miles' distance from 
the bay, was ordered to advance, and at two p.m. confirmed 
the report of the Bittern. The steamer was then recalled, 
but owing to a strong headwind and the tide, only got along- 
side the Commodore's frigate at five p.m. After a short 
consultation the Commodore, with the two other officers 
commanding, went on board the Hornet, and steamed into 
the harbour, and when within 2000 yards of the Russian 
vessels a shell was fired from the thirty-two-pounder at the 
bow, but fell short. The Russians returned the compliment 
with equal want of success. 

Commodore Elliot did not consider it feasible to attack the 
Russians in their " strong" position. Had he known how 
much their ships were encumbered with the women and 
children and stores brought from Petropavlovsk he would no 
doubt have done so. His forces were superior (sixty-nine 
heavy guns) to those of the Russians, who only had a sailing 
frigate of forty-four, and a corvette of twenty guns, the other 
vessels being mere transports with a few light guns. No 
wonder the Russians could not be induced to leave the 
harbour, to show fight. They were moreover not supported 
by land-batteries. 

The Bittern was sent to the south for reinforcements. 
The Sybille and Hornet remained near Castries Bay, but the 
Russians, taking advantage of a dense fog, slipped out, and 
when the Commodore again looked in at Castries Bay on the 
27th the birds had flown. On landing, six rough log-houses, 
forty by fifteen feet, were found, two of which were habitable, 

k The Russian vessels were the Aurora frigate, forty-four, the Olivutzu 
corvette, twenty ; the transports Baikal, six, Irtish, six, and Dvina, ten, 
and a cutter, the Kodiak. There was no steamer, as Lieutenant 
Peshchurof tells me, for the Vostok, the only steamer of the Russians 
at the Amur, was undergoing repairs at Petrovsk. 


the others in an advanced state. In the former were found 
uniforms, books, and many boxes, containing fiir-clothing, 
and one with Russian documents and letters, and the portrait 
of a lady. Many barrels of rye-flour, some vegetables and 
packages with seeds, were made booty of. The Russians had 
evidently evacuated the place in great haste, for at a short 
distance from the bay, on the road leading to Kidzi Lake, the 
ovens in the huts were still hot, and a large quantity of rye- 
bread, still warm, was found. On the 29th the Commodore 
turned to the south ; reinforcements had looked in at Jon- 
quiere Bay, but could not resist the temptation of a fair 
breeze to return to the south. The Heda with part of the 
crew of the shipwrecked Diana was met in the strait and 
chased for some hours during the night, but finally made her 
escape. On the 7th of June, Commodore Elliot arrived at 
Cape Grillon where the Winchester fifty, and Spartan 
twenty-four, Were at anchor. 

[We will insert here a short notice on the fate of the Diana and its 
shipwrecked crew. The Diana had left Kronstadt in 1853, and on the 
23rd July, 1854, arrived at Castries Bay, whence she proceeded to Osaki 
in Japan, where Admiral Putiatin concluded a treaty on the 26th 
January, 1855. This 'treaty in its main provisions agrees with that 
concluded by the Americans, Urup is ceded in it to Russia, and with 
regard to Sakhalin the status quo\& to be maintained, i.e., the northern 
part of the island whioh formerly acknowledged Chinese sovereignty, 
will remain with Russia, the southern part with Japan. During the 
earthquake which occurred on the 24th December, 1854, the Diana 
suffered much injury. With the aid of numerous Japanese boats it 
was tried to tow the ship to a sheltered bay round Cape Idzu, but a 
white cloud descended upon the summit of the Fusiyama, a sign of 
approaching storm, the Japanese left the frigate to her fate, and 
soon after she sunk. The crew had saved themselves and landed in 
Heda Bay. Negotiations with a splendid American clipper, the " Young 
America," to ta£e them to Petropavlovsk failed on account of the 
desertion of the Yankee crew. A month later, in April, a small American 
schooner, the Caroline Foote, agreed to take the Russians in three trips 
to Petropavlovsk. But having conveyed there four or five officers and 



one hundred and fifty men, a second voyage was thought too venture- 
some, and the William Penn conveyed this party from Petropavlovsk 
to Castries Bay. Admiral Putiatin himself had not been idle, and with 
the assistance of the Japanese built a schooner, the "Heda," with 
which he, with eight officers, including Lieutenant Peshchuro( and 
forty men, departed in May for Petropavlovsk, and finding that place 
abandoned he went to the Amur, which he entered from the south, 
and continued his journey to Russia by ascending that river. 1 

The remainder of the Russians left Heda Bay in July, but the 
Bremen brig " Greta," which had agreed to take them to Ayan, was 
captured when nearly at the port of destination."*] 

At Cape Ghrillon, the squadron was joined by the French 
Sybille, fifty, and Constantine, thirty, which had left 
Nangasaki on the 31st May. The Colbert, six, steamer, ran 
on a rock on leaving the bay, and scurvy breaking out on 
board the Sybille one hundred men had to be landed in 
Aniwa Bay, and subsequently the ship was sent to the south. n 
We might suppose the squadron would now sail up the Gulf 
of Tatary, in pursuit of the Russians who were known to 
have gone there. But no. The unlucky Bittern arrives 
with some despatches from the home authorities, who could 

1 The Heda was returned to the Japanese in 1856, the Russians 
otherwise would have been liable for £4,000. 

m Whilst the Russians were at Heda Bay the commander of the 
Powhatan, U.S., gave them information about the French whaler 
Napoleon, cruising off the port, and it was resolved to despatch two 
boats to capture her. The American, however, feeling qualms of con- 
science at betraying the Frenchman, gave him information about the 
intentions of the Russians, and when their boats came to the spot on 
the following morning, the whaler had disappeared. The same whaler 
had been met in 1854 by one of Admiral Putiatin's officers, and not 
made a prize on pleading ignorance of a declaration of war. 

B The French were very unfortunate with their ships. The Jean 
d'Aro had run aground in August, 1854, on leaving the Yang-tse-kiang, 
and it was necessary to send her to Europe for repairs, and out of four 
fine ships, the Constantine alone remained in a serviceable condition. 


not possibly know anything about the state of affairs, and 
the ships were ordered to the Sea of Okhotsk ! On the 10th 
of July the squadron commanded by Admiral Sir James 
Stirling left Aniwa Bay for the north. There were the 
following vessels : — 

Winchester, sailing frigate, 50. Flag-ship. 

Constantine „ 50. 

Sybille „ 40. 

Spartan „ 24. 

Hornet, steam corv. 17. 

On the 17th they fell in with the 

Pique, sailing frigate, 40. 

Amphitrite, corvette, 25. 

Barracouta, steamer, 6. 

A total of eight vessels with two hundred and fifty-two 
guns in the Sea of Okhotsk, whilst there was not a single 
vessel left to guard the Channel of Tatary ! On the 22nd 
the squadron anchored off Baikal Bay. Russian houses could 
be discerned at the fringe of the forest. On approaching 
the northern entrance to the Amur, a Russian brig, the 
Okhotsk, eight, could be seen in the Liman slowly making 
her way towards the mouth of the river. The Hornet tried 
in vain for two days to find a passage, and at last two boats 
of the Sybille, two of the Barracouta, and one of the Spartan 
were lowered and towed to within four miles of the brig. 
They were commanded by Sir Robert Gibson. The Russians 
had run aground near Cape Golovachef, and when they 
perceived the enemy they set fire to the brig, and took to 
their boats. Owing to the strong current it required three 
hours' hard rowing to come up to the brig, and half a mile 
before reaching her she blew up, and only a small iron gun, 
a bell, a few books and papers, and her pendant were saved. 
One of the boats was left near the burning brig, the others 

° This is an error, for no Russian settlement has ever existed there 
as Lieut. Peshchurof tells me. 


went after the Russians, and after twelve hours' exciting 
chase, the boats being dragged frequently over sand-spits, 
the cutter of the Sybille overtook one of the Russian boats. 
The crew of the Spartan, whose boat had stuck fast, ran 
along the sand and overtook another. The third escaped. 
At ten p.m. the captors returned with fourteen prisoners, 
most of them Finlanders. This is the great achievement of 
the naval campaign in the Pacific ! 

On the 2nd August the squadron put in at Ayan. A 
search after the guns of the batteries, which were supposed 
to have been buried, proved unsuccessful, but stores of china 
and walrus-teeth were dug up. The officers of the squadron 
were met by Mr. Freiburg, the superintendent of the Russo- 
American Company, who placed at their disposal his billiard- 
tables, " from which the English officers carried off balls and 
cues. ,,p The governor had gone inland, but a visit was paid 
to the Archbishop of Eastern Siberia then staying at Ayan. 
The Barracouta left on a cruize on the 29th July, and 
returned on the third of August, having in tow the Bremen 
brig Greta, which had been captured on the first in 52° 
north lat. and 145° east long. On board of her were Lieut. 
Pushkin and two hundred and seventy-six officers and men 
of the shipwrecked Diana. Lieut. Pushkin and Baron 
Schelling vainly protested against making shipwrecked 
mariners prisoners of war. Only a priest, the surgeon and 
the sick were landed, the others, including Gosh'kevich, 
interpreter of Count Putiatin and for ten years a member of 
the Russian mission at Peking, were retained, and distri- 
buted on the Barracouta (three officers and one hundred and 
six men), Sybille (seven officers, one hundred men), and 
Spartan (two officers and forty men). Lieut. Gibson with a 
prize crew was placed on board the Greta, and sent to 

p Habersham, p. 465. Such a statement, coming from an American, 
requires confirmation. The Russian officers with whom I have spoken 
know nothing of this pilfering breaoh of hospitality. 


Hong-kong. The Hornet and Constantino went to cruize 
near the Shantar islands. On the 16th August the Encounter 
arrived with some bullocks for the French, and the squadron 
then sailed again to the south. Had they remained a short 
time longer, and kept near the mouth of the Amur instead 
of staying at an out-of-the-way place like Ayan they might 
have made some more captures. Habersham of the U.S. 
store ship Kennedy met on the 11th September a Russian 
" gunboat " (the steamer Vostok) at Petrovsk, and further 
on the Francisco bark " Palmetto/' which had been chartered 
by the Russian consul there, was trying in vain to make 
her way into the Amur. The boats of the Aurora had fruit- 
lessly endeavoured for six weeks to get the Palmetto into 
the river, and the Russians offered to pilot the Kennedy 
through the Liman into the Channel of Tatary, if she would 
assist in getting the Palmetto off the sandbank upon which 
she had run. This however was prudently declined, as the 
Kennedy drew one foot more than the Palmetto. 

One other event remains to be recorded, viz. the capture 
of Urup, one of the Kurile islands where the Russians had 
made a permanent settlement in 1852. On the 3rd of Sep- 
tember the French Sybille, fifty, and *the Pique, forty, 
appeared off the settlement, opened fire, and landed some 
troops who burnt the store-houses of the Russo- American 
Company. On the third day they departed, taking with 
them a cutter laden with furs, and the store-keeper with his 
clerk a Yakute. A board was put up with an inscription 
stating that the island had been taken possession of by the 
allied powers conjointly and would in future be called 
"Alliance." Inquiries subsequently made in London and 
Paris with regard to the prisoners proved fiitile, as it was 
denied that any had been taken. 4 

The Sibylle and Pique, after this achievement, proceeded to 
« Annual report of the Russo-American Company, 1856-7. The 
French moreover are stated to have outraged some native women. 


Japan, where at the end of September there was assembled a 
squadron of eleven vessels with about three hundred and 
fifty guns. It had been proposed to send the Spartan, 
Constantine, and some other vessels, up the Channel of 
Tataiy, with orders to penetrate into the Amur, but superior 
wisdom retained the ships at Japan, and a small squadron 
only commanded by Commodore Elliot was sent up the 
Channel. He left Nangasaki on the 2nd October with the 
Sybille forty, Encounter fourteen and Hornet seventeen. 
On the 15th the Sybille anchored in Castries Bay, where the 
American bark Behring was discharging a cargo for the 
Russians. The boats were sent ashore for water, but when 
within two hundred yards of land were fired upon, and 
Lieutenant Chisholm and four men were wounded. The 
ships opened fire, but without effect, the enemy being hidden 
in the brushwood and shrubs. On the 16th the boats were 
once more sent to examine the creeks of the Bay, and on 
their return were again fired upon, and replied unsuccess- 
fully. It was ascertained from the Captain of the Behring 
that the Russians had collected a large military force on the 
Lower Amur. The Hornet was sent to cruize in the north, 
and on the 23rd had penetrated to 52° 19' north latitude, 
thus proving the existence of the channel leading into the 
Amur. But as she ran aground on a sandbank it was 
necessary to lighten her of her guns and ballast before she 
could be got off. The "discovery" of this passage, how- 
ever valuable it might have been if made in 1854 or earlier 
in 1855, was now of no avail, the season being too far ad- 
vanced to take advantage of it. The Sybille, Hornet and 
Encounter having met on the 29th returned to Japan, and 
thus ends the naval campaign of 1855. 

The presence of the Allied squadrons in the Pacific in- 
directly exercised a baneful influence upon the colonisation 


of the river Amur, as it had induced the Russians to con- 
centrate the whole of their forces on the lower part of the ; 
river. This cause still operated in 1856, for it was June j 
before the news of the conclusion of peace arrived. The ! 
operations of the Allied squadrons had been, however, ex- 
clusively of a peaceful character. The French Sibylle and 
Virginie, on the 9th June, called at Castries Bay, where 
they found an American brig at anchor, and communicated 
with the.Russian officer under a flag of truce. On the 1st 
of July, when the greater part of the Allied forces were lying 
in Barracouta Bay (Port Imperial), official confirmation of 
the conclusion of peace arrived there, and the bay resounded 
with the ships* artillery in celebration of the event. The 
Pique, soon after, sailed for Castries Bay to land a few 
prisoners of war who had remained in the squadron. Thus ! 
ends the war in the Pacific, and the Russians were left un- : 
fettered to carry on their design of occupying the Amur. \ 
Their settlements, up to 1856, were confined to the Lower ] 
Amur and Castries Bay. Here they had the towns of J 
Nikolayevsk and Mariinsk, three agricultural colonies between 
the two, and a settlement at Castries Bay. The colonies on 
Sakhalin and in Barracouta Bay (Port Imperial) had been 
evacuated in consequence of the war. In addition to the 
small flotilla of sea-going vessels enumerated above, and 
then in safety at Nikolayevsk, they had on the Amur two 
river steamers, the Shilka and Argun, which had been built 
on the Shilka, and the Nadeshda, a small steamer of four- 
horse power and only twenty-eight feet long, brought in 
1854 from England. Not a single establishment had yet 
been founded on the Amur from its origin at IJst Strelka 
down to Mariinsk, excepting a temporary settlement eighteen 
miles above Albazin called Kamenskoi, where the steamer 
Shilka had grounded in 1855 on a voyage down the river. 
General Muravief was at St. Petersburg to advocate the/ 
granting of large means for colonizing the Amur, and during 


his absence the direction of affairs was left to Major-General 
Korsakoff the governor of Transbaikal. In the course of 
the year, six hundred and ninety-seven barges and rafts 
descended the river, of which one only ran aground and had 
to be abandoned. These barges conveyed the provisions re* 
quired by the military forces on the Lower Amur, including 
1,500 head of cattle, which were landed every night on the 
banks of the river. Cossack stations were established near the 
mouth of theKomar (Komarsk), atthemouth of the Dzeya (TTst 
Zeisk, now Blagoveshchensk) , at the upper entrance of the defile 
of the Bureya mountains (Ehingansk, now Pashkof), and op- 
posite the mouth of the Sungari (Sungarskoi Piket). On the 
Lower Amur another colony, Novo Mikhailovsk, was 
established, and at the end of the year consisted of four 
block-houses. The America, a steamer ordered by the 
Russian government in America, drawing nine feet, and thus 
able to enter the Amur, arrived in July. One American 
merchantman had discharged her cargo in Castries Bay, and 
in October the clipper Europe arrived off the mouth of the 
Amur with two small steamers and some machinery on 
board. It waa necessary to lighten her of part of her cargo, 
before the America could tow her up to Nikolayevsk. The 
vessel had scarcely cast anchor opposite the town, when the 
river froze over on the 28th October. Two workshops 
having been erected on shore, the steamers were conveyed 
there to be put together during the winter. Arrangements 
were also made for a more regular postal communication 
between Nikolayevsk and Mariinsk, which until then had 
been carried on by dog-sledges. Post stations were built 
and kept by Cossacks, peasants or discharged sailors. The 
Russian colonists agreed to supply the necessary horses 
during the winter months at the rate of twenty-two pounds 
a pair. During summer, they were to supply the steamers 
plying on the river with the requisite fuel. This new post- 
route was inaugurated on the 18th November, when Admiral 



Kazakevich, with his staff, travelled from Nikolayevsk to 
Mariinsk in three troikas to inspect the garrison there. 
The novel spectacle attracted large crowds of wondering 



The year 1857 will ever be one of the most memorable 
in the history of the Amur. Muravief had succeeded at j 
St. Petersburg to secure large means in money and men t 
to carry out the occupation of the river. On the 1st of J 

une a battalion of infantry, six hundred strong, and 
commanded by Colonel Ushakof, embarked at Shilkinsk for 
the Amur. Muravief himself started soon after with another 
body of troops, and altogether one brigade of Cossack infantry \ 
and one regiment of cavalry r descended the Amur in that year, j 
and formed numerous stations along its left bank. The Amur . 
also served for J;he first time to convey colonists and provisions : 
to the possessions of the Russo- American Company. 

Captain Furruhelm appointed since, in 1859, chief director 
of the Company, conducted down the river one hundred 
emigrants and 1,000 tons of provisions. In his company 
\ travelled Collins, " Commercial Agent of the United States 
for the Amur river." Count Putiatin with whom was the 
orientalist Awakum, and who was joined at Mariinsk by 
Captain Chikachef, also availed himself of the newly-opened 
communication to proceed on a mission to Japan and China. 
He descended the river in a barge and arrived at Nikolayevsk 
twenty-five days after his departure from Usk Strelka. On 
the 13th July he embarked here on board the America, 
being escorted out of the river by Admiral Kazakevich on 
the Amur, the shore batteries saluting, and the five American 
merchantmen hoisting their flags. The passage leading into 
the Channel of Tatary had been marked out by stakes ; Cape 
Lazaref was reached in twelve hours, and on the 14th, 

T Two thousand four hundred infantry (four battalions ; six hundred 
cavalry), the total Cossack force at the time in Transbaikal being 
twelve battalions infantry, and six regiments cavalry. 


before sunrise, the America entered Castries Bay. She then 
crossed over to Cape Dui in Sakhalin, to take in a supply of 
coal. On his voyage down channel the Admiral entered 
Olga Bay (Port Sir Michael Seymour), discovered Port 
Vladimir, and on the 1st August arrived at Port Hamilton, 
where he obtained the permission of the Koreans to establish 
>/ a coaling depdt, they consenting to assist in loading and 
unloading colliers.' Continuing his voyage the Admiral 
came to the Gulf of Pecheli on the 5th August, and after 
long delays and tedious discussions a Chinese functionary 
consented on the 16th to receive the letters addressed to 
Peking, and this only on condition of the answer being 
sent to Kiakhta. The Admiral however was inexorable, and 
at last, on the 24th of August succeeded in gaining their 
acquiescence to send an answer to the Gulf of Pecheli, where 
if, arrived on the 17th of September. It had been Putiatin's 
ckadeavour to induce the Chinese to come to some definite 
arrangement regarding the frontiers on the Amur, but he 
Tfas not successful. In Allen's Mail (15th December, 1857), 
wo find however a statement from Chinese sources, that 
; Russia had demanded the cession of the provinces of Girin, 
Helung-kiang (Amur), and another province (Leaotong), 
promising in return to assist the emperor in putting down 
(the rebellion, by furnishing troops and ammunition. In 
this statement there is of course a grain of truth ; for naturally 
Russia would be anxious to obtain a legal right to the 
territories occupied by heron the Amur in defiance of Chinese 
protests. It was not however likely she would have demanded 
at once the whole of Manchuria, and with regard to her 
proffered assistance we may reasonably be allowed to doubt.* 
The fruitless results of Putiatin's mission were felt on the 

1 As yet the Russians have not availed themselves of this arrange- 

* Putiatin on the 24th October concluded a supplemental treaty 
with the Japanese at Nangasaki. 


Amur ; for the mandarins, satisfied hitherto with counting 
the number of barges, men and guns that passed their 
stations, now again protested against the occupation of the 
territories by the Russians, and in some instances even 
molested Russian traders. Muravief hastened to St. Peters-J 
burg, where he arrived in November, and explained the) 
state of affairs, expressing a fear of a hostile collision with 1 
the Chinese, and asking for reinforcements. General 
Korsakof, the governor of Trans-Baikal, then at St. Peters- 
V burg, supported the views of General Muravief, and the 
government consented. Admiral Putiatin was ordered to 
co-operate with the English and French in China, and large 
bodies of troops were m6ved towards Amur. The territories 
of the Amur had previously, by Ukase of 31st October, been 
separated from the government of Irkutsk, and together 
with Kamchatka and the whole of the coast of the sea of 
Okhotsk were created the " JjGaritime province of Eastern 
Siberia/' with Nikolayevsk as capital. This province, of 
course, continued to be dependent upon Muravief, as 
Governor-General of Eastern Siberia. A squadron of seven 
screw-steamers had been dispatched from Kroustadt in the 
^summer, commanded by Admiral Kuznetzof. They were 
the Askold frigate, forty-eight, the screw corvettes Plastun 
Voyevod and Boyarin, of fourteen guns each, and the screw 
" clippers " (gunboats) Jigit and Strelok, of two guns each. 
On the Amur itself the two river steamers brought by the 
Europe were launched, and called " Lena " and " Amur," 
and both ascended the river with troops returning to Siberia 
and some merchandise. 

Commercial operations were carried on however on the 
most restricted scale, consisting merely in supplying the 
troops stationed along the river with provisions. The imports 
from foreign countries amounted . to about £75,000. Of 
exports there were as yet scarcely any. But more of this 
in our chapter on commerce. 



The operations of the English and French in China were 
not without their influence upon the state of affairs on the 
Amur. When, therefore, Muravief arrived in May, he had 
ho occasion to appeal to a decision by arms, but found the 
(phinese authorities perfectly willing to conclude a treaty of 
&mity. This treaty was concluded at Aigun on the Amur, 
on the 28th of May. China therein ceded to Russia the left 
bank of the Amur down to the TTsuri, and both banks below 
^ the UsurL The Sungari and TJsuri, moreover, were to be 
open to Russian merchants and travellers, on being provided 
jwith proper passports from their government. Veniukof, 
who in that year ascended the TJsuri, was the first to avail 
himself of this permission, and, though not received in the 
most cordial manner by the Chinese authorities stationed on 
that river, no serious obstacles were placed in his way. Just 
a fortnight after the conclusion of the treaty of Aigun, 
Putiatin signed the treaty of Tientsin, 13th June 1858, 
ratified at St. Petersburg on the 10 th September, and the 
ratifications were exchanged at Peking by the Russian envoy 
General Ignatief and Prince Kung, on the 24th April 1859. 
Putiatin had been active in China for some time, and to him 
is to be ascribed the successful conclusion of the treaty of 
Aigun, the Chinese government considering it best to entrust 
the arrangement of the boundaries to the local authorities. 
He had, therefore, every reason to anticipate such a treaty, 
though not aware at the time of signing the treaty of 
Tientsin that the other had actually been concluded. The 
Chinese government during the preliminary negociations, 
had actually solicited the assistance of the Russians against 
the English, but were very wisely refused. 

The conditions, of the treaty of Tientsin arejsimilar to those 
contained in the treaties concluded by the other powers. 
Art. 1 declares that there shall be peace and amity between 


the Russian and Chinese governments. Art. 2 recognises 
the equality of both governments and grants permission to 
Russia to maintain an embassy at Peking. Art. 3, 4 and 5 
refer to commerce. Seven (or more) ports are opened to the 
Russians ; the commerce by land is to be carried on as 
before ; Consuls may reside at the ports. Art. 9 refers to 
the boundary : — " The undefined part of the frontiers be- 
" tween China and Russia will without delay, be surveyed 
"by delegates of the two empires, and the arrangement. 
" concluded between them relative to the frontier line will? 
" form an additional article to the present treaty. When 
" the boundaries are defined, an exact description of them 
" will be made, and maps annexed, of the frontier localities, 
" which will in future serve for both parties as indisputable 
" evidence in all concerns of the frontiers. ,, Art. 10 con- 
cedes to Russia the right to renew at will the so-called 
clerical mission at Peking, and the members may proceed 
thither by land or sea ; Russia, however, will in future bear 
all expenses connected with it. By Art. 11 arrangements are 
made for the establishment of a regular postal mail twice 
a month between Kiakhta and Peking ; a heavy mail, for 
passengers and goods, to be dispatched every three months. 
The former is allowed fifteen days, the latter one month, to 
travel the distance. The expenses are to be borne by the 
two governments conjointly. 11 It will be perceived that 
Art. 9 of this treaty merely speaks of the " definition " of the 
frontiers, but tacitly acknowledges the arrangement made at 
Aigun, of which the Chinese were fully aware, the Emperor 
himself acknowledging it as binding in an autograph letter 
addressed to the Commissioner in communication with Count 
Putiatin. Subsequently, however, the Chinese disavowed 
the treaty of Aigun on pretence of some informality. 

We now return to the Amur. Muravief on the 21st May 
v had laid the foundation of the town of Blagoveshchensk 

* The treaty at full length is to be found in the London and China 
Telegraph, vol. i., p. 417 . 


(that is " good tidings ") at the Cossack station Ust-Zeisk. 
He then descended the Amur, founded Ejiabarofka at the 
mouth of the Usuri, and on the right bank of the Amur, and 
selected the native village Jai, on the Lower Amur, as the 
site of a town. This town, called Sofoevsk, is destined to be- 
come the chief place of commerce on the Lower Amur, 
Mariinsk having proved to be unsuitable for that purpose, on 
account of its being situated on a branch of the river which 
is not navigable throughout the year. A railway or canal, 
preliminary surveys for which were made by M. Uomanof, is 
proposed to connect Sofyevsk with Castries Bay, and at both 
places plots of ground were granted to the Russo- American 
Company and the merchants of Nikolayevsk. At present a 
rough road only connects the two places. If a canal were 
once dug, the dangerous navigation of the Liman would be 
obviated. It was intended at the same time, to build a dry 
dock, breakwater, and so forth, at Castries Bay, but up to 
1860 none of these improvements had been carried out. 

Muravief in the same summer re-ascended the Amur on 
the steamer Lena, which after running aground several 
times, and sustaining much damage, took him to Stretyinsk, 
destined to become the chief port for the Upper Amur. In 
October we find the indefatigable Governor-General of 
Eastern Siberia at Kiakhta, making arrangements for the 
postal service settled by the treaty of Tientsin. At a banquet 
given by the merchants there, Muravief received the thanks 
of the community for the services he had rendered to com- 
mercial enterprise by opening the territories of the Amur. 
v His government had already rewarded his zeal by creating 
him Count of the Amur (Amursky) on the 26th August. 
Admiral Nevelskoi at the same time obtained the grand-cross 
of the order of St. Anne, and several merchants, citizens and 
peasants, were honoured with silver medals for the services 
they had rendered in opening the new country. An Ukase 
*was published on the 31st December, by which the territories 
of the Amur received a new organization. " Now that Russia 


has regained possession of this valuable region/' thus begins ' 
the Ukase, "it becomes the importance due to its future ; 
prosperity and social development, to provide for its admin- ' 
istration in a well-regulated and durable manner." The 
newly acquired dominions are then divided into the " If an- 
ytime Province of Eastern Siberia/' including the districts 
Nikolayevsk, Sofievak, Petropavlovsk, Gishigin, Udsk and 
Petrovsk; and into the "Amur province/' including the, 
territories along the Amur and above the mouth of the Usuri. j 
Admiral Kazakevich remained military governor of the 
" maritime province," and Major General Busse was appointed 
military governor of the Amur. The residence of the former 
remained, for the time, Nikolayevsk ; the latter resides at 
Blagoveshchensk, the newly founded town at the mouth of 
the Dzeya. Both governors are subject to the Governor 
General and his Council of Administration. In the chief 
places a provincial court, advocate-general and head of the 
police are established, and a board for the regular troops 
and Cossacks superintend these branches of the public 
service. The number of civilian officials for the province 
of the Amur is fixed at nineteen, with a medical man, and 
their salaries amount in all to £3,932. The governor re- 
ceives annually, regular pay £300, table money £300, 
travelling expenses £225, and £150 for incidental expenses 
and exercising hospitality towards the Manchu and others ; 
total £975. 

Shortly after the promulgation of this Ukase, the Cossack 
forces on the Amur received a separate organization. We 
learn that up to the end of 1858, 20,000 souls of both sexes 
had been settled along the Amur, most of them being sent 
from the Transbaikal, others from the interior of Siberia. 
They are to furnish the following force : — 

(a). In the Amur province, with its fine prairies and 
grazing country, the First and Second Regiment of Amur 
Cavalry, each nine officers, five hundred and seventy- five 


non-commissioned officers and men, and fourteen non-com- 
batants. Total of both regiments, 1,196 men. 

Two Battalions of Amur Infantry, each of five companies, 
including one of Rifles, and seven officers, 1,622 non-com- 
missioned officers and men, and sixteen non-combatants. 
Total of both battalions, 3,290 men. 

One of these battalions is reserve. 

(6). In the Maritime province, two Battalions of Usuri 
Infantry as above, one of them reserve, 3,290 men. 

At the beginning of 1859, the irregular forces amounted 
thus to 7,776 men. This, however, by no means represents the 
actual force of Russia on the Amur, for there were at least 
three Battalions of Line Infantry, each from six hundred to 
one thousand men strong; and these chiefly occupied the 
stations between Mariinsk and the Bureya mountains. At 
Nikolayevsk was stationed the twenty-seventh equipage of 
the navy, and the naval forces in the Pacific were still 
further increased by the Griden, fourteen, Rinda, ten, and 
other vessels despatched from Kronstadt. The screw trans- 
ports, " Japanese" and "Manchu," ordered in America on 
account of the Russian government also arrived towards the 
close of the season. 

i Commercial enterprise on the Amur was promised a fresh 
impulse by the foundation of the Amur Company, incor- 
porated by Imperial Charter on the 23rd January 1858, 
with a capital of £150,000, with power to increase it to 
£450,000. The object of this company is the development 
of commerce and industry in the basin of the Amur. It is 
privileged to open establishments on the Amur and Shilka, 
to appropriate for its use the coal and wood found in the 
, country, and to trade with the Russians and natives. Govern- 
ment agreed to supply at cost price fifty puds of powder, and 
one hundred puds of lead from the Imperial stores at Ner- 
chinsk. We must admit that the company lost not a moment 


in commencing operations. On the 8th of February 1859, 
the St Innocentius left Antwerp with two iron screw- 
steamers* of sixty horse-power on board, destined to navi- 
gate the Amur ; one iron barge, and two iron pack-houses ; 
and soon after, on the 30th March, the Orus, Captain Priitz, 
left London, also with two steamers, and four iron pack- 
houses. Both vessels were unfortunately lost, one in Castries 
Bay, the other in the ice of the Liman. In February, the 
company proposed to government to lay a telegraphic wire 
from Moscow to the Amuj ; this offer was accepted, and the 
government guaranteed five per cent., and thus ensured the 
project being carried out. Contracts for laying the wire from 
Moscow to Kazan were entered into soon after; and Ro- 
manof 's plan for carrying a wire, by way of the Kuriles and 
Kamchatka, through Bearing's Strait, to North America, — a 
plan revived subsequently by the American, Collins, thus 

, stands a fair chance of being successful. In a subsequent 
chapter, we shall see how far the " Company of the Amur" has 
fulfilled the anticipations entertained at the time of its foun- 


Several measures were taken in 1859 to favour colonization : 

on the Amur. The authorities in Siberia are permitted to 

grant passports for three years to political exiles, in order that , 

they may proceed to the Amur, and, if deserving, this term 

v ia extended to perpetuity. The sailors of the Twenty-seventh 
Equipage, stationed at the Lower Amur may retire after 
fifteen years' service, when they receive each a plot of 
freehold ground, £22 10*., and permission to send for their 
families who are conveyed at government expense. The \ 
colonists are maintained two years at the expense of govern- 
ment, after which time they may naturally be supposed to 
support themselves. The government also renounced its 

T These steamers were from the famous works of John Cockerell 
and Co., at Seraing. 


monopoly of the mineral treasures of the whole of Siberia; 
and in future any one, criminals excepted, may search for 
precious stones, gold, or work mines. Gold was discovered 
on the upper Dzeya. At the beginning of the year, a body 
of 10,000 colonists arrived at Irkutsk from Western Siberia 
and European Russia, on their way to the Amur. Count 
Muravief-Amursky exhibited his usual activity. By his orders 
Cossack stations were founded along the banks of the XJsuri 
and its tributary the Sungacha, and a surveying corps was 
employed under the direction of Colonel Budogorsky to 
explore the regions of the Usuri with a view to the settle- 
ment of the frontier. Muravief himself descended the Amur 
on a tour of inspection, and in June embarked at Castries 
Bay, on board the America for China and Japan. At Castries 
Bay part at least of the projected improvements of the har- 
bour had been commenced, and a lighthouse was in course of 
construction on Cape Closterkamp. Sailing along the coast 
of Manchuria, Muravief arrived at the Olga Bay where the 
Russians were engaged building a naval station, and where 
he was joined by Colonel Budogorsky, with whom he pro- 
ceeded to Wei-chai-wey in the Gulf of Pecheli, whence the 
Colonel departed for Peking for the purpose of coming to 
some arrangement regarding the frontiers. Muravief then 
crossed over to Yedo in Japan where twelve Russian men- 
of-war, including the Askold frigate and five corvettes, all of 
them steamers, were lying at anchor. On the 1st October, 
he again arrived at Nikolayevsk, ascended the Amur as far 
as Khabarofka on the steamer Argun, and then continued 
the journey up the river on the Lena until the river became 
covered with ice, when the journey to Irkutsk and St. Peters- 
burg was continued by land. 

We had occasion above to remark upon the influence 
which the operations of the English and French in China 
\ exercised on the bearing of the Chinese towards the Russians. 
4 Whch threatened with war, China was willing to make all 


sorts of concessions; but now, when the Chinese had repelled 
the advance of the allied ambassadors at the mouth of the 
Peiho June 1859, she had gained such an opinion of the 
prowess of her army, that it was not considered necessary 
any longer to conciliate the Russians on the Amur. They 
were told again, that China had never ceded the Amur, that 
they had no right there, and must immediately quit it. The 
merchants trading on the river were exposed to all sorts of; 
annoyances on the part of the Manchu officials ; Maximo- • 
wicz who, trusting to the provisions of the treaty of Aigun, \ 
desired to ascend the Sungari, was compelled to retire before * 
</ he had reached Sansin, and a war would certainly have ' 
ensued had not the allies again done the work of the Russians, . 
and humbled the Chinese government by occupying Peking. 

The commerce on the Amur had however made con- 
siderable progress, and the Amur Company established new 
stores in several places. To the five steamers already navi- 
gating the river a sixth was added, which had been brought 
in the preceding year by Mr. Burling from America, and 
was launched in June 1859, and called the Admiral Kaza- 
kevich. The imports at Nikolayevsk and Castries Bay 
amounted to £152,188. This does not include the value of 
five steamers brought out for the Amur Company, and the 
cargo of the Tsarina, 1200 tons, consisting of government 
stores. The exports as yet were trifling, only amounting to 
£2,967. Another flotilla had left Kronstadt consisting of 
the screw corvettes Passadnik and Nayesdnik, and the gun- 
boat Razboynik. 

Count Muravief had gone at the end of 1859 to St. Peters- 
burg, as mentioned before, and obtained leave of absence to 
visit his family then staying at Paris, and to recruit his health, 
which had suffered from the climate of Siberia. He desired in- 
deed to resign his post as Governor-General of Eastern Siberia, 
but at the personal request of the emperor, consented to pro- 
ceed once more to the Amur, where the critical state of affairs 


made the presence of a man of ability of the greatest conse- 
quence. The Chinese persevered in the hostile attitude assumed 
since the repulse at the Taku forts, and one officer at least, 
Lieut. Filimonof, was obliged in April to abandon his station 
on the Sungachan river, a tributary of the Usuri. Elsewhere 
also the Mandarins resorted to violence, but a letter in the 
Prussian Gazette, which speaks of " Russian forts blown up, 
whole villages of peaceful colonists destroyed and plundered, 
the inhabitants brutally ill-treated, and even in Borne instances 
killed, when venturing to offer resistance," is entirely devoid of 
truth. Certainly the Amur had not fulfilled the anticipations 
of those who thought to find at once the country there turned 
into the granary of Siberia, who in imagination saw the 
navies of the world congregate in Castries Bay to cany 
away its produce and manufactures. It is quite true also 
that the Amur was a constant source of expenditure. The 
colonists did not produce sufficient corn for their own con- 
sumption, and the deficiency had to be made up by imports 
\from Siberia. The Cossacks indeed are not the best colonists, 
•a fact of which the government is quite aware. They are 
inot only extremely indolent, but also carry on their agricul- 
tural operations in the most primitive manner. To remedy 
this state of affairs, German colonists had been sent for. Capt. 
Von Bries, proprietor of the steamer Admiral Kazakevich, is 
.going to bring forty German families from California, and 
. they are to be settled at the mouth of the Bureya. One 
hundred German families, Mennonites from Taurida w left 

w Forty-seven colonies of German Mennonites are situated on the 
Moloclia, in the Steppes of Southern Russia. They were founded 
between the yeare 1804 and 1839, and in 1851 had a population of 
16,257 souls. The colonists owned in that year 9708 horses, 11,381 
head of cattle and 58,595 Spanish sheep. They are noted for the 
rational manner in which they carry on agriculture. In 1851, they pro- 
duced 51,700 quarters of wheat, 40,000 qrs. of barley, 19,000 qrs. of 
rye, 23,000 qrs. of oats, 16,000 qrs. of potatoes, 750 qrs. of cocoas 
8000 lbs. of silk, and 1500 lbs. of tobacco. They had planted 2,843,289 


their homes in 1860. But as they travel with their own | 
waggons and cattle, they could not possibly arrive before 
1861. If at the beginning of the year, the aspect of aflairs/ 
on the Amur was very gloomy, "with a Chinese war in 1 
prospective, the relative positions of the two governments' 
were reversed by the success of the English and French, of 
whose victories Russia availed herself to conclude on the 
14th November 1860 a most advantageous treaty, much . 
more comprehensive than any treaty ever concluded by ; 
China with a foreign power. This treaty was ratified at/ 
St. Petersburg on the 1st January 1861 by the emperor.) 
It is signed by Nicolas Ignatief, Russian ambassador at 
Peking/ and Prince Kung, the Chinese Commissioner. The 
following is an abstract of this treaty : y — 

Art. 1. " Henceforth the eastern frontier between the two 
empires shall commence from the juncture of the rivers 
Shilka[and Argun, will follow the course of the River Amur 
to the junction of the River Usuri with the latter. The 
land on the left bank (to the north) of the River Amnr 
belongs to the empire of Russia, and the territory on the 
right bank (to the south) to the junction of the River Usuri 
to the empire of China. Further on, the frontier line between 
the two empires ascends the rivers Usuri and Sungacha to 
where the latter issues from lake Kinka ; it then crosses the 
lake, and takes the direction of the river Belen-ho or Tur ; 
from the mouth of that river it follows the mountain range 
to the mouth of the River Huptu (a tributary of the Suifun), 
and from that point the mountains situated between the 

mulberry trees, 637,269 fruit trees, 1,384,765 timber trees, ond 981 
vines. The schools were visited by 3283 pupils, or by one out of five 
of the population. The arrival of such thrifty colonists cannot fail to 
be advantageous. 

* Ignatief left St. Petersburg in March 1859. 

J See Times, 17th January 1861. 


river Hun-Chun and the sea, as far as the river Tumen- 
Kiang. Along this line the territory on the east side belongs 
to the empire of Russia, and that on the west to the empire 
• of China. The frontier line rests on the river Tumen at 
twenty ft above its mouth into the sea. 

Art. 2. Defines the frontiers between Russia and China 
< towards the west, and confirms Russia in the possession of 
the country around lakes Balkash and Issik Kul. 

Art. 3. Arranges the appointment of a joint commission 
for placing the frontier marks. For the inspection of the 
eastern frontiers the commissioners will meet at the mouth 
of the TJsuri in the month of April, 1861. 

Art. 4. On the whole frontier line established by Articles 
1 and 2 of the present treaty, trade free of all duty or 
restrictions is established between the subjects of the two 

Art. 5. Restores to the merchants of Kiakhta the right 
of going to Peking, and they may also trade at Urga and 
Kalgan. At Urga a Russian Consulate may be established. 
Russian merchants, provided with passports, may travel 
throughout China, but must not congregate in a greater 
number than two hundred in the same locality. 

Art. 6. Grants to the Russians a site for a factory, with 
church, etc., at Kashgar. The Chinese government is not 
however responsible for any pillage of travellers by tribes 
beyond its control. 

Art. 7. At the places thrown open, no restrictions what- 
ever are to be imposed upon commercial transactions, which 
may be carried on on credit or otherwise as best suits the 
interests of the parties concerned. 

Art. 8. Russia may establish consuls at Kashgar and 
Urga to watch over the conduct of the merchants, who are 
to be punished by the laws of the country to which they 
belong. The Chinese also may send consuls to Russian 
towns. Commercial disputes arc to be settled by arbitrators 


chosen by the parties concerned. Criminals seeking refuge 
in either country are to be given up, to be judged by the 
government to which they are subject. 

Art. 9. Annnlft the -treaties concluded at Nerchinsk 1689, 
and at Kiakhta 1727. 

Art. 10. Refers to the restoration of cattle which may 
have strayed across the frontiers. 

Art. 11. Regulates the transmission of written despatches 
on a reciprocal amicable footing between the authorities of the 
respective empires. 

Art. 12. Settles the postal arrangements between the two 
empires. Letters are to leave Peking and Kiakhta once a 
month ; parcels Kiakhta every two months, Peking once in 
three months. Twenty days are allowed for the transmission 
of letters, forty days at the utmost for parcels. 

Art. 13. Determines that the ordinary correspondence 
between the two governments is to be sent through post, 
but that during the residence of a Russian envoy at Peking 
despatches of jspecial importance may be forwarded by 

Art. 14. Empowers the Governor-General of Eastern 
Siberia to conclude any additional arrangements with the 
frontier authorities of a nature to facilitate intercourse. 

Art. 15. States that after the exchange of ratifications 
the treaty will be in full force." 

The importance of this treaty can scarcely be over-rated. 
Russia has now acquired a legal right not only to the country 
north of the Amur and east of the TTsuri, but also to the 
entire coast of Manchuria down to the frontiers of Korea. 
The value of this coast with its magnificent bays and harbours 
is great, quite independently of the Amur, and is fully appre- 
ciated by the Russians, who have re-christened Victoria Bay* 
as the Bay of Peter the Great, and one of its ports they call 
Vladivostok, " Dominion of the East." On the Amur and 
Usuri however the boundary line does not bear the stamp 


of permanency. Russia holding one bank only of these rivers, 
'whilst China holds the other, may at any chosen time fur- 
' nish a government desirous of encroaching upon its neighbour 
with fertile causes of dispute, and when the time comes when 
the huge Chinese empire tumbles to pieces, the whole of 
Manchuria, "with Leaotong must become the prey of / 
Russia. / 

The Regions of the Amur in 1861. 
Having traced the history of the Amur down to the 
present time, we will conclude this part of our volume by 
giving a condensed account of the present condition of 
Russian power on the Amur. 

By Ukase of 31st December 1858, the territories of the 
Amur are divided into a Province of the Amur, and " Mari- 
time Province of Eastern Siberia." 

The area of the former is about 164,000 square miles. 
The maritime province comprises the following : — 

Square Miles. 
1 The districts Nikolayevsk and Sofievsk . . . 179,000 
, The Northern portion of Sakhalin Island . . . 18,000 
: The districts Gishiga (Okhotsk) and Udsk . . 78,714 

) Kamchatka (Petropatiovsk) 465,208 

The Kurile Islands 3,843 

The country as yet is very thinly inhabited. In 1851, a 

census was taken of the population of the Russian empire, 

and the result, as far as Eastern Siberia is concerned, was as 

follows : — 


The Government of Irkutsk 294,514 

The Government of Yakutsk (exclusive of Okhotsk) 199,318 

Trans-baikal 327,908 

The District of Okhotsk 4,712 

Kamchatka and Gishiga 7,331 

TheKuriles * 212 

Total 833.9P* 


Allowing for the natural increase of the population, and 
compulsory immigration from European Russia, we obtain 
about 917,395 inhabitants as the present population of 
Eastern Siberia, and this would also include the Russian 
population of the Amur, which has hitherto been drawn 
almost exclusively from the governments of Trans-baikal and 
Irkutsk. We are not in a position to state the exact number 
settled on the Amur at the present time, but believe 40,000 
to be near the mark. If we add to these about 24,000 
natives, we have a population of 64,000 inhabitants, spread 
over an area of 361,000 square miles ! 

Military Forces. —The Russians have established military 
posts along the whole course of the Amur, on the Usuri, and at 
various harbours of the Channel on Tartary, down to Victoria 
Bay. The forces in the territory in 1859 were as follows : — 

5 Battalions of regular Infantry* (Nos. 5, 13, 14, 15, 16) 5,000 men. 

2 Regiments of Cossack Cavalry 1,196 „ 

2 Battalions of Cossack Infantry of the Amur . . 3,290 „ 
2 , „ „ Usuri . . 3,290 „ 
1 Battery of Field Artillery, 12 guns, 60 horses . . 200 „ 
The 27th Equipage of the Navy 1,500 „ 

Total 14,476 men. 

The 13th battalion of Infantry and the battery are 
stationed at Blagovesh'chensk. The 5th battalion has its 
head-quarters at Khabarovka, and occupies stations on the 
Usuri and Kingka Lake. The 14th and 15th battalions 
occupy forty-eight stations between Pashkof in the Bureya 
Mountains and Mariinsk, being about forty-two men to a 
station. The 16th battalion was sent in 1859 to garrison 
the bays along the sea-coast. Olga Bay for the present is 
the chief naval station on the coast of Manchuria, but may 
possibly be eclipsed by Port Vladivostok in Victoria Bay, 
or the new settlement of Novgorod in Posiet Harbour. 

The two cavalry regiments occupy twenty-three stations 
from Ust Strelka to Pashkof in the Bureya Mountains, being 
■ The 5th Battalion stood formerly in Western Siberia 


on an average fifty-two men to the station. The four 
battalions of Cossack Infantry, two of which are reserves, 
are stationed on the Amur, chiefly about the mouth of the 
Dzeya, and on the Usuri. There were twenty-four stations 
along the Usuri and Sungachan at the commencement of 
1860, and the settlements now extend probably to Victoria 
Bay, fresh colonists having arrived. 

The villages of colonists between Mariinsk and Niko- 
layevsk are without garrisons, and at Nikolayevsk, in 
addition to a detachment of Cossacks who do service as 
police, is stationed the 27th equipage of the navy. 

On Sakhalin, Russians only occupy the village of Dui, 
near which coals are found, and the post Kusunai. A 
settlement, Muravief, which they had in Aniva Bay has 
been evacuated, and all endeavours to induce the Japanese to 
cede the southern Sakhalin have proved abortive. 

The entire military force maintained in 1859 on the 
Amur exceeded thus scarcely 15,000 men. Since then, 
however, fresh forces have arrived, but we are not in a 
position to state their exact numbers. The report of the 
Minister of War speaks of 18,000 men sent during 1858 — 60 
to the Amur, many for dereliction of duty, and accompanied 
by about 3,000 women and as many children. On the 
other hand many of the men annually return to Siberia 
and Russia on the expiration of their term of service, though 
great inducements are held out to them to become settlers. 
Under any circumstances, the available military forces 
would not exceed 20,000 men; their women and children 
8,000 ; and the number of civilians, including their families 
10,000 ; giving a total of 38,000 to 40,000. The chief 
centres of population are Blagovesh'chensk with 1306, and 
Nikolayevsk with 4,000* inhabitants in 1860. 

With the exception of Nikolayevsk, Mariinsk, and the 

» In 1858, the population was 2,5*62. The increase is due chiefly to 
the arrival, in 1859, of 1,000 convicts. (See p. 199.) 


naval forte, the Russian settlements are mere collections of 
wooden houses, without any artificial defences whatever, 
Nikolayevsk is the only place possessing formidable means 
of defence. Fort Gonstantine has been built upon a sand- 
bank in the middle of the river, and its guns — four 24- 
pounders, eight 18-pounderg, and twelve 100-pound mortars 
— command both town and roadstead. The harbour battery 
is called Fort Nikolas, and its armament consists of 
twelve 36-pounders and two 72-pounder mortars. Four 
miles below the town, upon the right bank of the river • 
stands the Michael Battery— twenty-one 24-pounders, and 
two 36-pounders — and eight miles lower down, but on the 
left bank, at Cape Chnyrrakh, a narrow tongue of land, 
stood the Alexander Nevsky Battery — fifteen 24-pounders, 
and two 36-pounder mortars. This battery has lately been 
removed, and 1,000 convicts in foot irons, who arrived in 
1859 from Nerchinsk, are engaged building upon its site a 
strong stone fort, expected to be completed in 1862. 

The battery at Mariinsk was dismantled in 1857, and only 
a dozen Cossacks guard the port ; but several of the ports 
to the south are defended by batteries, The southernmost 
settlement is Novgorod, at Possiet Harbour, Gulf of d'Anville. 

Naval Forces. — Simultaneously with strengthening her 
forces on the Amur, Russia reinforced her navy in the Pacific. 
In 1860, the fleet in the Pacific included nineteen steamers, of 
5,150 horse-power, carrying three hundred and eighty guns, 
and mounted by two hundred and forty-seven officers, and 
4,365 sailors and marines, including the 27th Equipage 
at Nikolayevsk. There were two frigates — the Oleg and 
Svetlano— five corvettes, viz., Boyarin, Griden, Voyevod, 
Passadnik, and Kalevala ; five screw clippers, viz., Jigit, 
Oprichnik, Strelok, Nayesdink, and Razboynik ; the despatch 
boat Abriekh; and six smaller steamers. The Griden, 
Binda, and Oprichnik returned to Europe in 1860, and the 
Boyarin, Voyevod and Jigit in 1861. The vessels at the 



present time in the Pacific, exclusive of the smaller steamers 
navigating the Amur, are as follows : — 

2 Frigates 

2 Screw Corvettes . 

2 Despatch Boats (screws) 

3 Screw Clippers 

1 Gun-boat 

1 Paddle Steamer . 

1 Steam Schooner . 

2 Strew Transports . 

2 Sailing Transports 

1 Cutter . 

1 Schooner (Sailing) 



















went out in 1860 

„ I860 

* 1859 

• „• I860 

„ 1861 

„ 1860 

„ 1857 

„ »t 1 859 

„ 1859 

went out in 1859 

from America in 1856 

went out in 1853 

from America in 1858 

» „ 1858 

since 1849 or earlier 

previous to 1854 

„ If 1854 

built at Nikolayevsk, 1857 

57 guns 
48 „ 
H „ 
14 „ 


5 „ 







Total, 18 vessels, with 178 guns. 

To these may be added the vessels of the Russo- American 
Company — thirteen in 1858 — which are also lightly armed. 
This force, though large compared with what Russia had in 
the Pacific previous to the treaty of Paris, need not inspire 
any apprehension. 

The number of river steamers navigating the Amur is 
twelve, of which nine belong to Government. The imports 
by sea represent a value of about £53,000, and one-third of 
this is sent up the Amur. The exports are trifling. 

Telegraphs. — The Government authorised, in 1861, the 
construction of a telegraphic line from Nikolayevsk up the 
Amur to Khabarovka, thence up the Usuri as far as Novgorod, 
the southernmost point of the Russian territories on the Sea of 
Japan. The line from Kazan to Omsk will be opened this 
year, that from Omsk to Irkutsk in 1862, and the interme- 
diate lines, thence to Kiakhta and Khabarovka, will be under- 
taken in 1863. The minister of marine will provide the 
necessary funds. 

* Reported to have foundered on the coast of Japan. 







The Amur, one of the largest rivers of Asia, drains with its 
tributaries a basin of 766,000 square miles. This basin is 
bounded on the south by the Shan-alin mountains and a line 
passing through Korchin and the Gobi desert. Towards the 
west and north the Yablonoi and Stanovoi ranges separate 
it from the rivers flowing to the Arctic Ocean and the sea of 
Okhotsk, and in the east the coast-range from the rivulets 
entering the Channel of Tatary or Manchuria. 

Russian geographers look upon the sources of the Kerlon 
as the head-waters of the Amur, the Chinese however make 
it take its rise in the Shan-alin or White Mountains, sacred 
to the present Manchu dynasty as the cradle of their race. 
According to the former the Amur is formed by the junction 
of the Kerlon, called Argun in its lower course, with the 
Shilka, the Shilka itself being formed by the junction of the 
Ingoda and Onon. According to the Chinese the Sung 
Khua Kiang, or Pine-Blossom River, which they consider 
the head of the Amur, rises from six springs on the north- 
west slope of the Shan-alin. The Manchu call this river 

M • 


Sungari, t. e. Milk-street River. After a course of three 
hundred miles the Sungari receives the Konni from the 
north, and assumes the name of Kuentong, which with the 
Chinese it retains until it enters the sea. From the left, 
this Kuentong receives the Helong Kiang, river of the Black 
Dragon, called Sakhalin Ula, Black Water, by the Manchu, 
and Shilka (Silkar) by the Tunguzian Oronchons and Man- 
yargs. This Sakhalin Ula, according the Russian view is in 
fact the Upper Amur. The Lower Amur, or rather the Amur 
below the mouth of the Sungari, is called Mango by the 
Goldi, and Mamu by the natives near its mouth. The 
Russian "Amur" is believed to be a corruption of the 

If we consider that source of a river situated at the 
greatest distance from its mouth entitled to the honour of 
being looked upon as the fountain-head of the whole system, 
then must the Kerlon in the present instance be adopted as 
such. The development of the Kerlon (and Argun) to its 
junction with the Shilka is 1000 miles, exclusive of all 
minor windings, which in the present state of our geogra- 
phical knowledge of these regions it would be impossible 
correctly to estimate. The Amur thence to the sea has a 
development of 1400 miles. 5 On the other hand, from the 
source of the Sungari to the mouth of the Amur the develop- 
ment of the river is only 1460 miles. It has not yet however 
been ascertained whether the Sungari or Sakhalin Ula carries 
the greater quantity of water. Schrenck is in favour of 
the former, and if we add the fact that the Amur below its 
junction with the Sungari maintains the north-easterly 

• According to General d'Auvrey (Stuckonberg, iv. 782) the Amur 
has derived its name from an usual form of salutation used by the 
Tunguzians, and meaning " Peace be with you. w The Mongols call the 
Amur Kara-turan, Black River. 

b Including minor windings, the development of the Amur is 
estimated at 1890 miles. 


direction of the latter to its mouth, we must acknowledge 
that after all the Chinese may have good cause for maintain- 
ing their side of the question. 

It is by no means our intention to enter into a detailed 
description of the head-waters of the Amur. Our purpose 
will be sufficiently answered by offering a few remarks 
regarding them. 

The Kerlon, On on and Ingoda, all rise in the Kentei 
Khan, or Great Khingan, of the Chinese, the culminating 
point of which on Russian territory, the Chokondo, attains an 
elevation of 8,259 feet, without however reaching the limit of 
perennial snow. From this central mass of mountains the 
Yablonoi Khrebet or Range, branches off towards the north- 
east ; and other branches occupy the country between the 
Ingoda and the Onon, and the Onon and Argun, forming 
what are generally known as the Nerchinsk Ore Mountains. 
In its south-western portion this mountain region is inter- 
sected by deep ravines and swampy tracts, and covered with 
dense, often impenetrable, forests. Further to the north it 
partakes much of the character of the steppes of central 
Asia. The country is undulating, and the ridges of the Ore 
Mountains rise but from two to five hundred feet above the 
beds of the rivers. There are few trees. Further to the 
north-east, beyond a line drawn from Stretyinsk on the 
Shilka to the Nercliinskoi Zavod on the Argun, the country 
is mountainous and wooded, and tracts favourable for agri- 
cultural pursuits occur in the valleys. 

The Kerlon river has its source in the Kentei Khan. For 
five hundred and fifty miles it traverses one of the most 
inhospitable tracts of the Gobi, it then runs through the 
Dalai Nor or Lake, and after another four hundred and 
twenty miles it enters the Shilka at Ust Strelka. In its 
lower course the river is known as the Argun. As far as 
Tsurukhaitu the river passes through a steppe, with an 
area of 8,070 square miles, and an elevation of from 2,000 

m 2 


to 3,000 feet above the sea-level. This steppe is quite unfit 
for agriculture; there is scarcely any rain, little snow 
during winter, and early frost in autumn. The soil is a hard 
clay in which are imbedded pebbles, carneols and onyxes. 
The numerous salt-lakes frequently dry up. 

At Tsurukhaitu the country improves. On northern 
slopes we find small woods of foliferous trees, and the valleys 
are decked with a rich covering of flowers. The lower we 
descend the more promising is the appearance of the 
country, and between Uryupina and XJst Strelka cereals are 
cultivated very successfully. Both banks of the river are 
wooded, the left bank is hilly with wide valleys opening 
upon the river. The right bank frequently rises in cliffs 
with exposures of granite. In this lower part of the river 
the bed is stony and the current rapid. 

The (hum also rises in the Kentei mountains. In its 
upper course its banks are wooded, at Chindant it touches 
the steppe for a short distance, and then suddenly turns to 
the north, and down to its junction with the Ingoda flows 
through an undulating wooded country with many fertile 
tracts fit for cultivation. It is navigable at all seasons. 

The Ingoda rises north of the Ghokondo mountain, and as 
far as Chita, the capital of the Transbaikal province, flows 
towards the north-east along the foot of the Yablonoi range. 
Below Chita it has a breadth of sixty to one hundred yards, 
is rapid, and encloses many grassy islands. The rocky 
mountains along its banks are thickly wooded ; the rocks 
often approach the river very closely leaving only a narrow 
passage through which it forces its way. These rocks are 
in many parts covered with mosses and a beautiful fern, 
Pteres pedata, and the rhubarb plant, with its red bulb, 
appears -frequently in warmer sites. The river can be 
navigated by small boats or rafts below Chita, but this 
navigation is very dangerous owing to the shallowness of 
the water and to the rapids. A little above Rruchina a 

8HILKA. 165 

rock called Capitan, in the centre of the river, considerably 
endangers navigation at low water. The most dangerous of 
the rapids is that called Boyets, " Combatant," below Vorov- 
skaya Pad, where the river forces itself a passage through a 
narrow defile. 

The union of the Ingoda with the Onon forms the Shilka. 
The river increases in breadth; at Biankina it is four 
hundred and fifty yards wide. The river thence to the sea 
is navigable at all seasons in boats drawing two feet of water. 
The shores are hilly and wooded with large tracts of prairie, 
bearing rich herbage. The trees are birches and pines with 
a few larches. Below Shilkinskoi the latter prevail. The 
country is more mountainous, but wide fertile valleys and 
plains frequently intervene. The current of the river is 


about four knots. Below Gorbitza abrupt cliffs often rise 
directly from the water, and only small tracts fit for 
settlement occur at the mouths of some rivulets. A short 
distance above the embouchure of the Argun, the mountains 
on the left recede, leaving a narrow level along their base, 
but on the rfght they continue as far as the village of 


U8t Strelka (Arrow Mouth), situated at the confluence of the 
two rivers. The thirty Cossacks stationed here engage in 
fishing, hunting, and bartering with the Oronchons and 
Manyargs on the Amur. "We now embark upon the Amur, 
about which our communications will be more detailed. 

The Amur from TJst Strelka to Albazin. 

Three miles below Ust Strelka the Amur has a width of 
four hundred and fifty yards with a current of about four 
miles an hour. The river occupies generally the whole of 
the valley, and the banks rise in precipitous cliffs, or steep 
and rocky slopes, leaving but a small space fit for settlement. 
Numerous tributary rivulets enter the Amur from the left, 
and also on the right, and when rain falls in the mountains, 
the waters carried down by them cause the river to rise 
frequently four yards and more in the course of two or three 
days — the greatest rise and fall being about eight yards. 
The most considerable of these rivulets is the Amazar, 
(twenty-four miles below TJst Strelka) along which the 
Oronchons proceed to their hunting grounds on the Olekma. 
At the mouth of these rivulets are generally to be found small 
plains overgrown with scanty grass and shrubs of birches. 
At Monastir, d the valley of the Amur widens, and meadows 
extend on either bank to the foot of the mountains. Islands 
have been formed there. Thirteen miles lower down the 
Oldoi enters on the left (eighty-four miles) ; it is equal in 
size to the Amazar, and in former times its banks were the 
frequent resort of the Oronchons, who hunted here sables and 
other fur-bearing animals, whose numbers since then have 
greatly diminished. Below the Oldoi the Amur makes three 
abrupt bends, fifteen miles in length, and called Charpel, 
Dunon and Gonan, after three horses which some Manyarg 

c At its mouth the Russian settlement Ignashof or Amazarskaya. 
The distances in miles from Ust Strelka are given in brackets. 
4 In the neighbourhood the settlement Sgibenef. 


travellers lost here in the time of Prince Lavkai. There are 
some small salt lakes in the neighbourhood which commu- 
nicate with the Amur when the water is high. At the lower 
end of these bends stands the station of Kutomand or 
Sverb4ef. The river then increases in breadth, the moun- 
tains are less high, large fragments of rock have been 
washed away by the currents and extensive sand-bars stretch 
into the river, and during low water appear as islands over- 
grown with rich grasses, but poorer herbage. 

The forests are thin, and there is scarcely any underwood. 
On the mountains larches prevail, with firs in dry situations. 
In the valleyB the white birch predominates, with bird- 
cherry, aspen and occasionally a few larches. The trees are 
of very slow growth and hardly ever above a foot in diameter. 
Grey alders, Alnaster, small fruited apple-trees and willows 
may be seen at the fringe of the forest. 

Spots with pasturage only occur isolated in extensive 
forests, the grasses are scanty and grow in tufts, and the 
bare ground may be seen throughout. Bitter, aromatic 
herbs abound and bear comparison with those of the steppes 
of Dauria. On the rocky mountain slopes may be seen occa- 
sionally some forest trees, the service tree, Alnaster, the 
grey alder, aspen, poplar and hawthorn, but the prevailing 
ligneous plants are theDaurian rhododendron and the Geblera. 
On loose soil Indian wormwood frequently covers a whole 
mountain-slope with shrubs two or three feet high. 

Below Ust Strelka mica slate of unequal cleavage and of 
a darkish grey colour, with quartz veins, prevails. Lower 
down as far as Albazin, there is much compact clay-slate, 
either without any appearance of being stratified, or very 
irregularly bedded, and of a black colour, produced by oxide 
of iron. 

As we approach Albazin (one hundred and twenty-five 
miles) the mountains recede, and make room for extensive 
prairies affording excellent food for cattle and stretching 

168 . ALBAZIN. 

far to the base of the mountains. The features of the 
country are much more attractive. On the southern slopes 
oaks and black birch take the place of the larch, and 
at the foot of the mountains are found elms, ashes, hazel- 
nuts, bird-cherries, willows and wild roses. The grasses 
are the same as in Dauria. The site of Albazin was well 
chosen by the Cossacks who founded it. In fact it is the 
first spot on descending the Amur suitable for a settlement 
on an extensive scale. Wood and water are found in plenty, 
and the mountains protect it against the cold northerly 
winds. The Albazikha or Emuri rivulet opposite Albazin 
is rich in fish, which are to be caught here with much 
greater facility than in the rapid Amur. Remains of 
the ancient ramparts of the town, which had been built 
upon a plateau about fifty feet above the river, as well as of 
the circumvallation of the Chinese, may yet be traced, and 
on the small island at the mouth of the Albazikha rivulet 
vestiges of a Chinese camp may yet be distinguished. From 
a plan of these remains in Maack's work Albazin formed a 
square of two hundred and forty feet ; the Chinese camp a 
parallelogram of six hundred and seventy feet long and 
about one hundred and forty wide. The Amur has a breadth 
of five hundred and eighty yards. 

Albazin to the Dzeya. 

Below Albazin the Amur expands, the islands increase in 
number, they form archipelagos and many of them lie in the 
middle of the river, contributing greatly by their variety to 
the original and picturesque appearance of the river, but 
interfering considerably with the navigation. On the right 
bank the mountains approach again close to the river a short 
distance below Albazin, and form steep precipices of sand- 
stone; but on the left the plain continues uninterruptedly 


for a distance of seventy miles to the rock or promontory- 
Malaya Nadeshda, i.e. Little Hope (one hundred and ninety- 
two miles) a bold sandstone cliff projecting into the river 
in the shape of a semicircular tower. Above this rock a 
dangerous bar stretches across the river, having but three 
feet of water in the summer, and ten in spring. It was 
here the Russian miniature steamer Nadeshda wintered in 
1855-56, whence the name. 

The plain thence is at an elevation of from forty to fifty 
feet above the river, the banks are steep, and partly scooped 
out or lined with low alluvial deposits, generally overgrown 
with grass. Upon the elevated plain the hills rise in isolated 
groups of from one hundred and fifty to three hundred feet 
in height, and when close to the river form steep precipices. 
The hills generally have gentle slopes, and are surmounted 
by masses of syenite frequently presenting perpendicular 
walls. In their character they bear a great resemblance to 
the Ore mountains of Dauria. Sandstone formation is more 
rare. Foliferous trees are more abundant, and at the skirt 
of the forest may be observed the ash, whilst oaks cover the 
mountain slopes, and the larch, white birch, with elms and 
bird-cherry now and then constitute open forests. 

The valley of the Burunda rivulet opening into the Amur 
on the left, thirteen miles below Nadeshda, offers superior 
inducements to intending colonists, and its advantages were 
appreciated by the Albazin Cossacks who founded here the 
village of Andrushkina, remains of which may still be seen. 
A Cossack station called Burunda (Tolbuzin) has been esta- 
blished in this locality. The soil of the valley is composed 
of rich black earth, covered with dense grass and herbage. 
On southern slopes grow small oaks, and black birches with 
the wild rose, on northern slopes white birches and aspens ; 
whilst the summits of the mountains are occupied by firs and 
larches. The mountains surrounding this valley consist 
mostly of carboniferous sandstone and a conglomerate of 


clay-slate, fragments of quartz and hornblende enclosed in 
chlorite cement. 

The numerous islands lower down are covered with poplar, 
ash and willow. At the Toro and Angan rivulets beautiful 
valleys again open upon the Amur. The Russian post of 
Anganskaya has been established at the mouth of the latter. 
The rocks on the left bank are granite containing felspar 
and glands of smoky quartz, without any intermixture of 
mica. This formation extends to below the Onon, where the 
felspar is dyed by oxide of iron. The physiognomy of the 
vegetation remains the same. Among the flowers the rho- 
dodendron, white poppy, forget-me-nots, Myosotis, the white- 
flowered Paeonia, attract the eye. 

A few miles below the Onon a steep sandstone cliff of a 
yellowish grey colour bounds one of the reaches of the 
Amur for a distance of three miles. This cliff is called 
Tsagayan (three hundred and two miles). It attains an 
elevation of two hundred and fifty feet, and at about 
fifty feet, and one hundred and twenty feet above the 
level of the river, may be seen two black seams of coal, 
apparently lignite. The natives look upon this mountain 
as the abode of evil spirits, and dread it accordingly. The 
Manyargs who live near assert that smoke rises from 
the mountain when a human being approaches it, and 
the Manchu who come to the neighbourhood to fell wood 
say that the mountain smokes constantly and at times 
considerably. Neither Permikin, Collins, Maack, nor Maxi- 
mowizc could perceive this smoke when they passed that 
way. The phenomenon may owe its origin to the self- 
combustion of some coal seams ; or the mountain contains 
caverns, and the warm air arising from them, on coming in 
-contact with the colder atmosphere, assumes the appearance 
of smoke. Such at least is the case with several mountains 
in eastern Siberia. At the foot of the Tsagayan are layers of 
conglomerate, in which agates, camelions and chalcedons are 
to be found. 

KOMAK. 171 

Beyond the Tsagayan the valleys entering the river are 
wider, the ste&p mountains recede gradually, the meadows are 
richer in grass, and the low islands more numerous. Small 
groves of poplars, elms, ashes and wild apples, alternate with 
bushes of red-berried elder, sand- willows, self-heal and wild- 
briar. Small oaks and black-birch grow on the hills; 
larches and other conifers become scarcer. The meadows 
are richer and could afford pasturage to numerous cattle. 
Hard clay and clay-slate here predominate. 

At the promontory Eazakevitch (Ele Khan) (52° 1' north) 
the mountains again come close to the river. The pro- 
montory consists of a reddish mass of deeply furrowed 
amygdaloid, and rises to the height of three hundred feet. A 
block projecting from the main mass of the rock assumes the 
appearance of a colossal human figure which rests upon the 
foot of the slope, wears a helmet and seemingly gazes down 
upon the river. 

About eight miles further to the south is the rock Eorsakof, 
a similar promontory of a semi-circular shape, and re- 
markable on account of its having regular steps from the 
river-side. At its foot the Amur has formed a deposit of 
sand and shingle, now overgrown with grass. 

Thence to the mouth of the Eomar (three hundred and 
eighty-two miles), a distance of forty miles, the left bank of 
the river shows a continuation of the elevated plain previously 
mentioned, whilst the right bank is low and undulating. 
At the mouth of the Komar are several large islands covered 
with willows, one excepted, which contains pasture land, 
and upon which stands the Chinese watch station Eomar 
or Humar consisting of two log huts. A little lower down, 
on the left bank, is the Russian post Eomarskoi. 

Below the Eomar river the banks of the Amur again 
become mountainous. On the left these mountains begin 
with the Bibikof promontory, a rugged mass of volcanic 
rocks, opposite the mouth of the Eomar known as Longtor 


amongst Manyargs, Da-o-she Khada by the Manchu, which 
oil account of its rising directly oyer the surrounding plain 
shows to great advantage, although its elevation does not 
exceed two hundred feet. The mountains do not, however, 
any longer rest irregularly upon an elevated plain, but form 
continuous chains as far as the Dzeya, accompanying both 
banks of the river at a greater or less distance. The 
prevailing rocks are syenite and porphyry. The course of 
the Amur itself is here very tortuous, and about fifty- 
one miles below the Eomar it almost describes a complete 
circle, leaving but a neck of land half a mile in width, 
upon which the post of Ulusu Modon is built (four hun- 
dred and forty-six miles). This post, whilst in posses- 
sion of the Chinese, consisted of three log huts covered 
with rush, in front of which stood a small prayer-house 
dedicated according to the Sinalogue Sychevski to Huan- 
lo, the god of war. Drift coal of very inferior quality 
has been found here on a small islet near the right bank. 
The Russian station in the neighbourhood is called Kor- 

Below Ulusu Modon the Amur for thirty miles, as far as 
the Eerlon River, passes between steep mountain slopes, 
about three hundred feet in height, and crowned with 
columnar rocks. These slopes are either thinly wooded or 
altogether barren and formed of debris. Elsewhere pre- 
cipitous clifls form the bank of the river, the monotony of 
which is interrupted only by narrow ravines passing up to 
the plateau above, or by small basin-shaped valleys where 
torrents discharge their waters. The forests are nowhere 
dense, and the Daurian birch prevails, with a few scattered 
elms. In the ravines are found lime-trees having a trunk 
one foot in diameter. The mountains consist of felspar 
coloured by oxide of iron and enclosing concretions of 
greenish mica and quartz. Further on is found talc slate 
with a siliceous base, and of a greyish green with a metallic 


Approaching the Dzeya the mountains are frequently 
interrupted for longer distances and make way for an 
elevated dry steppe, which is ascended from the river by 
deep moist ravines washed out by the rains, and containing 
groups of birches, aspens and poplars, the tops of which reach 
up to the plain. The soil of the prairie itself is a loose, 
yellowish and sandy clay, having but a thin covering of 
vegetable earth. The grass is rather scant, and there is a 
great variety of flowers and aromatic herbs and shrubs of 
hazel. In the distance, towards the mountains, the plain 
grows undulating and bears thickets of black birches and 
oaks and finally merges in the thinly- wooded mountains. 
The islands in this part of the river are numerous but far 
apart, and generally of small extent. Those in the middle 
of the stream are low and swampy with small pools of 
stagnant water, and only those closer to the bank are more 
elevated and bear a dense growth of birch, poplar, aspens 
with maples and buckthorn. 

The upper part of the Amur had been the abode of some 
nomadic Oronchons and Manyargs only. Here we meet for 
the first time with isolated huts of Daurians, who come to 
this part of the river to fell the wood which lower down is 
scarce. To their labours must be ascribed to a great extent, 
the fact of the forests being here much cleared. The first 
Manchu village, Amba Sakhalin, stands about twenty miles 
above the mouth of the Dzeya, on a rich prairie, on the 
right bank of the river. It consists of twenty-three houses, 
built without any attempt at regularity along the bank of 
the river. The houses are badly constructed of wood, clay 
and rushes ; they have paper windows, and inside may be 
seen pictures of Buddhist deities, and of the Foist painted on 
linen cloth by Chinese artists. Attached to each house is a 
small garden enclosed by palisades or a hedge, where millet, 
maize, radishes, onions, leeks, garlic, Spanish pepper, 
cabbages and beans are cultivated. Clusters of elms, birch, 

1 74 blagovesh'chensk. 

maple, poplar and wild apples, have been planted close to the 
houses. The inhabitants keep plenty of fowls and pigs, and a 
few horned cattle used for ploughing. 

About fifty-three miles higher up, the Russians have 
the post Narantzum, identical probably with the post 
Bibikof of the map. At the junction of the Dzeya and Amur 
(five hundred and forty miles), is situated the town of 
Blagovesh'chensk, founded in 1858 by General Muravief 
upon the site of the Cossack station TTst Zeisk. The 
town is built upon the plateau, and the principal street ex- 
tends a verst along the river. In April 1860 the population 
was 1,365 souls. There were twenty-nine buildings belong- 
ing to government, four to private individuals, and forty-six 
wooden huts, covered with earth, and most of them in the 
ravines extending down to the river. There is a church, and 
the foundation of a second has been laid. The Amur 
Company maintain here one of their principal stores. The 
Chinese from the right bank of the Amur come to Blago- 
vesli'chensk about the fifth day of each month, and for seven 
day 3 they sell their produce, wheaten and buckwheat flour, 
barley, oats, walnuts, Usuri apples, fowls, pigs, cows and 
horses. Occasionally they sell also silk stuffe, peltry, artifi- 
cial flowers, felt-shoes, matting, etc. Timber has to be 
brought down the Amur or Dzeya from a distance of sixty 
miles, for only shrubby oaks and hazel grow in the 
neighbourhood of the town. The town is the seat of the 
military and civic authorities of the Amur province. Its 
site has been well chosen, and in course of time it will 
no doubt rise into a place of importance. Agricultural 
operations may be carried on here on the most extensive 
scale, and with a certainty of success. Coals are found a 
few versts above the town, and iron is reported to exist in 
the mountains a short distance up the Dzeya. 


From Blagovesh'chensk to the Bureya Mountains. 

At the Dzeya the scenery undergoes a sudden change. 
Instead of mountains enclosing the valley of the river there 
stretches before the eye an extensive plain, with no visible 
limit on the left hand, and bounded on the right by low 
isolated ranges of hills. The accession of the black and 
sluggish waters of the Dzeya to the clear and rapid Amur, 
causes the latter to increase suddenly to a width of two versts. 
In the vicinity of the Dzeya the prairie is low and liable to 
be inundated, but a very short distance below it the plain is 
from twenty to thirty feet above the level of the river. On 
this plain there are scarcely perceptible elevations between 
which occur small shallow ponds fringed by rushes. The 
soil of the prairie is clayey, with a layer of rich black earth, 
and it is covered with luxuriant grasses attaining often the 
height of a man. Imperata sacchaliflora, Spodiapogon, and, 
less frequently, Manchurian panic grass, are those which 
grow in the greatest abundance and most strike the eye. 
Shoots of Vicia pallida (vetch) and Pseudorobus intersect the 
prairie in all directions and, next to the pink gloss of the 
Imperata, impart to it a striking beauty by their blue, 
lustrous appearance. Extremely succulent broad-bladed 
grasses however prevail. Small shrubs of cinnamon rose, 
two to four feet high, are hidden everywhere by the grass, 
and with vetches and other climbing plants, render the 
progress through these prairies excessively difficult. The 
white flowers of the Polygonum divarica, and the superb 
Tatar Starwort, with its pinky flowers, are great ornaments of 
the prairie. Calamagrostis, with Mulgedium, Stellaria radians 
(stichwort) and Artemisia, are restricted to swampy localities. 

Numerous Manchu villages are distributed along both 
banks of the river, sheltered from the cold northerly winds 
by groves of poplars and firs, and surrounded by well cultivated 

176 AIGUN. 

fields. Fourteen miles below the Dzeya is situated the town 
of Sakhalin Ula Hotun or Aigun, the chief place of the 
Manchu on the Amur, but not otherwise remarkable. The 
government buildings and several temples are surrounded 
by a double row of palisades, forming a square, each side of 
which measures two hundred and thirty yards, and outside 
this square are several hundred mud houses. The town has 
a sombre appearance, the houses being for the most part built 
of wood and plastered with mud. The only variety is pro- 
duced by the gaily painted temples. The shops in one of the 
principal streets have open fronts. Here the merchandize is 
laid out in the most tempting manner, and the merchant, 
attired in rich silks, gravely smokes his pipe until a pur- 
chaser enters. Dragons and other figures cut in paper are 
fixed to poles surmounting the shops, and paper lanterns 
hang across the street, giving it a rather original appearance. 
Heavy two-wheeled carts, drawn by two or three horses 
each, slowly move through the town. The population is 
about 15,000. To the north are some long sheds near 
which the Amur flotilla of the Chinese usually lies at anchor. 
On an island opposite may be seen traces of ancient batteries 
erected by the Chinese during their earlier wars with the 
Russians. Four miles lower down the river, on the opposite 
bank, is a large village where stood the ancient Aigun, a 
place described in 1682 by Milovanof, who even then was 
unable to obtain from the natives any account of its origin. 
The Chinese subsequently occupied the place, but abandoned 
it when they built Sakhalin Ula Hotun, the City of the 
Black River, on the right bank of the Amur. 

Below Aigun the country on the left continues perfectly 
level, and the plain is covered with a rich black soil, in 
places fourteen inches thick. The banks are formed of a 
slimy sand. On the right are visible hills of the Little 
Ehingan with their rounded-off contour; an offshoot, the 
Hkhuri Alin, advances close to the river. Its slopes are 


barren, and the foot only of the hill is fringed by a dark 
line of forests, forming a striking contrast with the brighter 
hues of the prairie. 

About thirty miles below Aigun the river separates into 
many branches.' The right bank is generally scooped out 
and steep, but on the left are extensive shallows and sand- 
banks, some barren, others covered with grasses and willows. 
The villages succeed one another to a distance of about fifty 
miles. Trees, which in the prairie region had appeared 
only singly here and there, unless planted by the hand of 
man, now increase in number, and about the mouth of the 
Bureya they form small groves. With the forests the villages 
disappear, and at wide intervals alone may be encountered 
groups of two or three huts, surrounded by a vegetable 
garden, and inhabited by Manchu fishermen. 

We again enter the country of nomadic tribes, and instead 
of cultivated fields, tents of wandering Birar Tunguzians 
meet the eye. 

The Bureya river (seven hundred and three miles), 
passes through a level prairie country enlivened by clumps 
of oak and maples. At its mouth it has a breadth of 
half a mile, its current is slow, and its limpid waters 
may be traced for a long distance after joining the Amur 
ere they mingle with its dark flood. The character of 
the country can scarcely be ^said to change with the 
Bureya. The right bank gradually rises in height, and the 
alluvial deposits on the left, are more extensive. Small 
creeks frequently indent the land, and islands are numerous. 
The soil in many places is clay or a rich black earth, and 
offers many advantages to agriculturists, of which even the 
Daurians, whose chief occupation is the chase, have availed 

f According to the map of the Jesuits, the Amur communicates here 
with a large lake, situated on the left bank, atod near which are three 
large villages. 



themselves. In the prairie there are cavities with pools of 
stagnant water, surrounded by bulrushes. 

The right bank is generally washed away underneath. 
The hills approach close to the river, and form gradual 
slopes, steep clayey stratified sections, or precipitous sandstone 
cliffs. Coal seams have been discovered here in two localities, 
the seams being three to four inches thick, and upon a trial 
being made the coal burnt well, with little smoke, and left 
but few ashes. It resembled cannel coal. 

The lower portion of the hills are wooded with small oaks, 
wide apart. On more elevated spots may be seen a denser 
forest of young oaks and black birches, with occasionally 
white birches and Salix caprea. In shady ravines we 
encounter groves of white birch and aspen, and on the low 
alluvial fore-shore small poplars and Maackia, and on open 
situations or on islands, various kinds of willows, bird-cherry 
trees, small Tatar maples, elms, ashes, and a few cork-trees 
of small size. 

Lespedeza bicolor and hazel-nuts (Corylus heterophylla) 
form a thick underwood of four feet in height in oak forests. 
At the skirt of the forest growB the Amurian vine, with its 
dark blue berries, climbing up the trees to the height of 
fifteen feet. Acarna and finely slit artemisias are common ; 
but the most characteristic shrub of these forests is the 
Manchurian Virgin's-bower (Clematis Manchurica), the 
numerous white blossoms of which contribute not a little to 
their ornament. Owing to the sandy soil, but little herbage 
is found where the poplar grows. The willows on the islands 
or low banks are hung with Metaplexis ; or Rubia is enve- 
loped in the dark foliage of the Cornus, contrasting richly 
with its numerous black berries, and the red grape-berries of 
the nightshade (Solanum Persicum) bursting forth now and 
then between.* 

c Between Blagoveshchensk and the entrance of the Bureya moun- 
tains are the following Russian stations, all of them on the left bank : — 


The Bureya Mountains. 11 

Ninety miles below the mouth of the Bureya, on the left 
bank, and at the entrance of the defile formed by the Bureya 
mountains, is situated the Eussian post, Khinganskoi Piket, 
now called Pashkof (seven hundred and eighty-three miles). 
On the opposite side rises the bold promontory of Sver- 
beef, projecting far into the river. The Eussian post is 
situated upon a prairie sloping down to the river, and 
there are several small creeks above and below it. The 
mountain nearest to it is a flat-topped cone, consisting of 
a coarse conglomerate, and separated from the surrounding 
mountains by narrow valleys with boggy soil. It is remark- 
able on account of some small fissures on its northern slope, 
a few feet above the valley, around which ice will form in 
the middle of summer, and from which issues an icy current 
of air. A thermometer suspended in one of these fissures 
fell in the course of an hour to 30° F. 

For about twenty miles, as far as the rivulet Oou, at the 
the mouth of which is situated a small native village, and 
the Manchu Station of TJlu Biri, and on the left bank the 
Eussian post Eadde, extensive meadows may occasionally 
be seen on either bank, surrounded by terrace-like mountains, 
groves of oaks, limes and ash trees are found in the valleys ; 
the summits of the mountains are covered with conifers. 
Below this the river is almost enclosed by walls of stone. 
From a breadth of two miles, it suddenly decreases to seven 
hundred yards at most ; the depth in many places is seventy 

Nismenaya, Konstantinof, Tsichevskaya, Poyarkof, Kuprianof, Sho- 
beltein (Bureya mouth), Inokentievskaya, Kasatkina and Pashkof. 

h Otherwise called Khingan, or Dousse Alin, from one of* the sum- 
mits. As there are three or four different mountain-chains in China, 
known as Khingan (1.6., white mountains), Middendorf has proposed to 
call that under consideration Bureya mountains. Other Russian 
writers have agreed to this proposed change of name 


feet, and the current sweeps along at the rate of three miles, 
and in particularly narrow places as much as five and a half 
miles an hour. Within the whole of this extent there are no 
islands. Small patches of meadow occur, although rarely, 
at the foot of the precipitous clifls. Now and then we per- 
ceive a small basin-shaped valley, which during high water 
is converted into a lake. The mountains attain an elevation 
of about eight hundred feet, and are covered to the summit 
with dense forests of fine trees — a strange mixture of northern 
and southern types — conifers however prevailing. On the 
banks of the few tributary rivulets are found in abundance 
limes, aspens, self-heal, black currants, and a great variety of 
climbing plants. At the base of the mountains, we meet the 
ash, oak, maple, elm, and white birch, and the summits 
and slopes bear a vegetation of firs. The slopes are bare only 
where they are formed of loose debris ; and occasionally the 
barren summit of a mountain having the shape of a sugar 
loaf rises above the vegetation surrounding it. In fact, no 
accessible spot is void of vegetation. The soil throughout is 
good ; and were it not for the rocks hemming in the river 
without leaving any space for settlements, this might become 
one of the most populous sections of the Amur. At present 
there is but one village of natives to be found here, and a very 
few huts of Goldi which are inhabited only during summer. 

The axis of elevation of the Bureya mountains consists of 
granites, upon which rest mica schist, clay slate, and similar 
metamorphic rocks. Porphyry has been discovered in one 
locality only, at the mouth of the river Oou. Throughout 
there are indications of precious metals. It is evident that 
the Amur, before breaking the barrier opposed to it by these 
mountains, formed a vast lake above them. 

About ninety-five miles below Pashkof the mountains 
recede on the left, and thirteen miles lower down on the 
right also. At the end of these contracted parts, are two 
islands. The one on the right is narrow, about a verst 



long and a few yards high ; . it is covered with a dense 
growth of birches and elms, in the shade of which grasses 
grow to the height of a man. The Amurian vine is plentiful 
and creeps up the trunks of the trees, and fills the mind of 
the traveller with anticipations of a flora more abundant than 
that met with on the prairies on the upper part of the river. 
The second island is a steep rock of uncertain colouring. 
The depth of the river is here still seventy feet. 1 

The Prairie Region of the Lower Amur. 

A few hills continue to be seen in the distance, but 
beyond these the prairie extends so far as the eye reaches. 
This prairie at first differs but little in the character of its 


vegetation from that on the upper part of the river, but 
lower down grasses are much more predominant, and dotted 
over it are isolated oaks, limes or elms, with occasionally a 
wild apple tree, hawthorn, birch or bird-cherry tree. The 
banks of the river in many places are swampy. It increases 
in breadth, and its branches enclose numerous islands covered 
with willows and trees. These islands do not however inter- 

1 The following are the Russian posts situated within the Bureya 
mountains : — Radde, Pompeyevskaya, Polikarpovskaya, Ekaterin-. 
Nikolskaya, and Pisina. 


fere with navigation, as they are ranged along both banks of 
the river, and leave an open channel between them. The 
country from the Bureya Mountains to the Sungari is 
perhaps the most desolate along the whole course of the 
Amur. The nomadic Birars scarcely ever frequent this 
part of the river, and it is only occasionally resorted to by 
Goldi fishermen from the Sungari. k 

At the mouth of the Sungari (nine hundred and ninety- 
two miles below Ust Strelka), the Amur is divided into 
several branches. The Sungari enters on the right, and 
its dirty waters may be traced for many versts flowing side 
T)y side with the clear floods of the Amur, until both mingle 
and roll on turbidly to its mouth. 

Beyond the Sungari the level prairie continues along the 
left bank of the Amur, and only at the Russian post opposite 
the mouth of Sungari a range of hills approaches for a 
short distance and forms bold precipices. On the right bank 
however a range of hills accompanies the river for a distance 
of twenty miles and at the villages of Dyrki, Etu, and 
Kinneli approaches it in bold clifls of clay slate, granite, 
and mica schist. These hills are covered with an open 
forest of foliferous trees. Oaks and black birches prevail, 
but elms, limes, maples and Maackia are numerous. Aspens 
grow only on northern slopes. The ground shaded by these 
trees is covered with a dense growth of Lespedeza bicolor, 
between which a luxuriant herbage shoots up to the height of 
five feet. In July the numerous red flowers of the Lespedeza, 
with the blue blossoms of vetches, large white umbels of the 
Biotia, and drooping catkins of the Sanguisorba, form a cover- 
ing of surpassing beauty and of the most charming variety. 

The Amur, which below the mouth of the Sungari had 
become one stream two miles in breadth, divides towards 

* Russian Stations on the left bank of the Amur from the Bureya 
Mountains to the lower mouth of the Sungari :— Nagiba (Nagi- 
bovskaya), Dobro, Kvasinino, Deshnef, Mikhael Semenof/Voskresenskaya 
and Stepanof. 

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the lower end of this range of hills into several branches. 
The islands enclosed by these branches are covered with a 
dense growth of willows, forming impenetrable thickets, or 
even with forests of the same trees of large dimensions. 
On their shores are heaped up the bleached trunks of fallen 
trees or driftwood often to the height of several feet. On 
the more elevated ones only a few isolated trees, small-fruited 
apple trees, bird-cherry trees, maples or poplars, are met 
with. Some of the islands terminate in a spit of mud or sand, 
under water during the greater part of the year, and upon 
which spring up under the influence of the warm sun of 
summer a great variety of small plants, the seeds of many 
of which are carried lower than the Sungari and washed 


The number of islands is most bewildering above and below 
the mouth of the rivulet Horolag (Khorok) which enters 
the Amur on the right, and is resorted to during summer 
by numerous Manchu for the sake of fishing. At that time 
the floats of the nets often retard the progress of boats, 
and conical birch-bark huts, and variously-shaped fishing- 
boats may be seen in large numbers on every island. 
Generally speaking, there are however but few permanent 


habitations along this part of the river. The few villages 
of the Goldi are situated on the right bank, and built upon 
prominent points of the land. 

Clay slate clifls again approach the river on the right below 
the village of Nyungya, where the Amur forms two branches, 
the main stream continuing an easterly course, whilst the 
other turns towards the south-east, and fifteen miles lower 
down receives the Usuri. 1 Maack discovered the remains of 
ancient fortifications on the summit of Cape Kyrma, above 
the village Nyungya, which he considers identical with 
Khabarof 's Achanskoi (see p. 19). 

From the Usuri to the Bokki Mountains. 
As we approach the mouth of the Usuri (1,179 miles), the 
craggy summits of the Khoekhtsi Mountains situated on the 
right bank of that river appear on the horizon. A narrow 
plain extends along the foot of the mountains. Leaving the 
willows which grow along the bank of the river, a narrow path 
conducts us to the huts of the village of Turme, situated 
at the mouth of the Usuri and imbedded in a thicket of 
Artemisia vulgaris, where the Urtica dioica and Cannabis 
grow to the height of a man, and which is rendered almost 
impenetrable by a great variety of climbing plants. A few 
steps beyond the village we enter a forest, which in density 
and the size and beauty of the trees is rivalled only by the 
forests of the Bureya Mountains. "Within a small compass 
may be found here all the trees [peculiar to the Amur: 
limes, elms of enormous size, ashes, walnuts and maples, 
the buckthorn, which attains the thickness of a leg, Salix 
caprea, Maackias, cork trees and others. The rays of the 
mid-day sun scarcely penetrate the close foliage, and the 
moisture of the soil is increased by a thick underwood, up 
which climb the Vine, Maximoviczia, Dioscorea and the 

1 Russian Stations between the Sungari and JJsuri left bauk of the 
Amur :— Golovin, Vosncsenskaya, PetrovBkaya (Penibrovskaya ?), Lugof 
and Spaskaye. 


gigantic Rubia. In the early part of the year, when the 
yellow blossoms of the Lonicera chrysantha fill the air with 
their fragrance, when the syringas bloom and the Hylomecon 
bedecks large tracts with a bright golden hue, when cory- 
dales, violets and pasqueflowers stand in flower, these forests 
may bear comparison in variety and richness of colouring 
with the open woods of the prairie country. Later in tha 
year, the scarcity of flowers is compensated by the richness 
of the herbage, and after a shower of rain delicious perfumes 
are wafted towards us from the tops of the walnut and cork 

As we ascend the slope of the mountains we occasionally 
encounter a Siberian pine, pitch pine, Ayan spruce, or a 
solitary larch. The dark foliage of the hazel-shrubs con- 
trasts pleasantly with the grey alder. There is less under- 
wood, and still higher up conifers prevail, and the maple, 
common lime and ash, are the only foliferous trees met 
with. The cedar and Ayan fir predominate. On northern 
slopes, towards the Amur, the forests descend to the bank of 
the river. Larches grow in the moist ravines, and large 
tracts are covered with aspens, birches and alder, the ribbed 
birch appearing but rarely at the fringe of the forest. 

Open spaces in the forest are rare, and when they do 
occur they are moss-swamps, often surrounded by foliferous 
trees. The meadows, with the short, tender grass, so fre- 
quently met with in the forests of northern Europe are not 
found here. It is at all events only at a great distance from 
the river. But on some tracts along the bank of the river, 
where the annual inundations do not permit the growth of 
trees, we encounter meadows, covered for miles with Cala- 
magrostis purpurea having blades five or six feet high. 

Before its junction with the main branch of the Amur, 
the southern branch forms a wide bay on the right, with 
many islands, and on its rocky coasts are situated the 
Goldi villages of Siza and Buri, the latter now the Russian 


station of Khabarofka, 10 which stands on a picturesque 
eminence, has a church, with paintings executed by some Rus- 
sian officers stationed there, and is head-quarters of the fifth 
battalion of the Line. The left bank below this junction 
remains a level prairie for a distance of one hundred miles. 
The flowers of the prairie of the Upper Amur get however 
more and more scarce as we proceed down the river, and 
wide tracts are covered almost exclusively with Calama- 
grostis grass. In the neighbourhood of the river the prairie 
is swampy and exposed to annual inundations. On the right 
bank the hills in several instances advance close to the river, 
and form a series of cliffs composed of layers of glandy, 
cinnamon-coloured jasper, talc-slate, firm glandy clay, and a 
flintstone mass two inches thick. Large pieces of clayey 
sandstone have fallen down, and are deposited at the foot of 
these cliffs in masses which assume the appearance of ruins 
of ancient buildings. 

The river is studded with islands, some of very great 
extent, covered with willows, or on tracts liable to inundation 
with Calamagrostis meadows. Looking from the southern 
side of the river they often hide the northern bank 
altogether, and on the summits of the Vanda a branch of the 
Bureya mountains is visible in the distance. The last of 
these clifis is at the village of Uksumi, D and between those 
of Amcho andKhula. n The shore below the latter village is 
level and wooded with a foliferous forest. The villages of 
the Goldi, who prove useful to the traveller by piloting him 
through the intricacies of the river, are numerous here. On 
the right the Sole,* or, as it is called after villages situated 
near its mouth, Dondon or Naikhe 11 enters the Amur. The 

m In addition to the Khabarofka, the following stations are situated 
about the mouth of the Usuri : — Korzakof and Kazakevich. 

n Occupied by the Russians. 

Sole, the u Upper," with reference to the Khungar, which is also 
called Khyddi, ». e. the " Lower " (river). 


Sole rises in the coast range, has a rapid course, and is fre- 
quented only by a few nomadic Orochi. 

Below the Dondon the Amur flows for a short distance in 
one bed, having a breadth of six miles. But below the 
villages of Emmero and Jare the islands recommence, and 
the river has a development not hitherto attained. The 
branches of the river spread themselves over a vast plain, 
bounded on the south by the rocky heights of Emmero and 
the Geong Mountains, and on the north by the Ojal ridge 
and Bokki mountains. The Amur forms here three 
principal branches, each about a mile and a half wide, and 
the distance from one bank of the river to the other exceeds 
fifteen miles, or, including the lakes of Sargu and Boland 
(Ojal) which communicate with the river, thirty-six miles. 

At the island and Cape of Kirile (Cyril) the branches of 
the river re-unite. The view from here is imposing : before 
us are a series of precipitous cliffs one hundred feet in height 
crowned with forest, above which rise the barren summits of 
the Bokki, on the left the steep slope of the Ojal ridge, and 
between both the magnificent stream eight miles wide with 
islands, and mountain-ranges far off on the horizon. In the 
Ojal or Chotzial Mountains veins of arsenic have been dis- 
covered, at first believed to be silver. The natives call these 
mountains Mungu-hongko, that is, silver mountains, and 
hold the spot in great dread for fear of the spirits who guard 
the treasures supposed to be hidden there. 

From the Bokki Mountains to Mariinsk. 

The right bank of the river is generally high ; on the left 
mountain-ridges approach at short intervals and form pre- 
cipitous slopes ; here the river is frequently seen expanding 
into small lakes, extending a few versts inland. The Amur in 
this part receives numerous tributaries, among which the 
Khungar on the right and the Gorin (1,520 miles) on the left 
are the most important. The mountains are composed of a 



fossiliferous grey sandstone and a conglomerate consisting of 
ferruginous clay, quartz debris and hornblende. The moun- 
tains are wooded with oak and birch. There are still many 
islands covered with willows. The valleys, though narrow, 
afford good pasturage, and many points suitable for settle- 
ments may be found along the river. 

A few miles below the Gorin the islands disappear and the 
river flows along in one bed, having a breadth of less than a 
mile. At first the banks are hilly. The hills are covered 
with forests of conifers, forming an agreeable contrast to 
the lighter hues of the poplars, ashes and birches growing in 
the valleys. On either side may be seen the craggy sum- 
mits of mountain-ranges at greater or less distance from the 
river, covered in places with snow as late as June. Towards 
the left, Collins (p. 280) saw two peaks, from which smoke 


was apparently issuing, and which he took for active vol- 
canoes. Other travellers have not mentioned this phenome- 
non ; it is not however beyond the range of probability. 
Below Dere the banks of the river form rocky declivities. 
Porphyry, composed of unequal grains of felspar and horn- 


blende abounds ; its colour is greenish. Large quantities of 
chlorite-slate are also found, and a mixture of it with quartz. 

The mountains first recede on the left bank, and a short 
distance lower down, at Jai, also on the right. On the site of 
this latter village was founded in 1858 the town of Sofyevsk, 
which will doubtless become the chief commercial place on 
the Lower Amur, and is connected with Castries Bay by a 
road thirty-three miles long, to be converted, if the -want of 
it arise, into a railway.* Plots of ground have been granted 
here to the Russo- American Company and several private 
merchants. Foreign shipping is admitted on the same terms 
as at Nikolayevsk, and wharfs and dry-docks are going to be 

At Sofyevsk (1,640 miles) the Amur again separates into 
branches, and from an easterly direction suddenly turns 
towards the north. The eastern branch of the river passes 
along the foot of offshoots from the coast-range, depressions 
of which have been invaded by its waters and converted into 
lakes, those of Kidzi, Kada and Yome being the most consi- 
derable. The western branch, which from Sofyevsk flows 
directly north, is deemed the most considerable, and passes 
through a wide plain until it joins the eastern branch shortly 
before the combined streams force a passage through the 
Amgun Mountains which intersect the river at right angles, 
one hundred miles north of Sofyevsk. Standing on Cape 
Jai, above Sofyevsk, this plain may be seen stretching far to 
the north. Conical peaks rear their barren heads above the 
heights surrounding it, and in the midst are discernible 
isolated heights forming, as it were, islands surrounded by 

p Between the Usuri and Gorin there are seventeen Russian stations, 
mostly on the right bank of the river. They are called after the native 
villages near which they are established. Between the Gorin and 
Sofyevsk we have the following stations : — Gorinskaya, Churinof, 
Shelekhof, Litvintzof, Yerebtsof, Shakhmati, Feodorovskaya, and 

* Viestnik, 1859. Erman's Archiv. 19, p. 13. 


swamps and scrubs. This wide expanse is intersected by 
numerous branches of the river, which in autumn partly dry 
up, and lakes, of which the Udal (Chogal) is the largest. 

The distance from the head of the Kidzi lake to Castries 
Bay is only eight and a half miles. Mr. Romanof 
endeavours to explain the fact of the Amur flowing 
to the north instead of seeking an apparently more natural 
outlet into Castries Bay, in the following manner. The 
waters of the Amur were dammed up in their descent by the 
opposing coast-range on the east, and the Amgun Mountains 
on the north, and spread over the extensive plain mentioned 
above, thus forming a vast inland lake. In its endeavours 
to reach the sea, it filled up several transverse depressions in 
the coast-range where now we perceive the lakes Kidzi, 
Kada and Yome, and would no doubt have succeeded finally 
in reaching Castries Bay had not the Amgun Mountains 
previously yielded to the pressure of its waters, and allowed 
them to find a vent towards the north. 


Lake Kidzi occupies an area of ninety-three square miles. 
Its greatest length is twenty-five miles, its breadth twelve 
miles. The lake consists of two portions, the upper one 
being the smallest, and they are connected by a channel 
eight hundred and eighty yards wide. There are two islets 
in the lake. The first is Boshniak, not far from the Russian 
station of Mariinsk. It is a rock about fifty feet in diameter, 
and about thirty five feet high. Its summit and the western 
slope, from which it may be ascended, are covered with a dense 
growth of birch, aspen, and other foliferous trees, and ite 
numerous crevices are full of the holes of foxes, with which 
the island is said still to abound. The Gilyaks look upon 
it as sacred, and assemble on it from time to time to carry 
on their Shaman practices. The other islet, Pustoi, is a 
barren rock covered during high water. 


Of the numerous rivulets which enter the lake the Ai or 
Yai is the largest. It flows through a wide, swampy valley, 
with mountains on either side, which below the juncture 
with the Khoil is three to six miles broad. A strip of forest 
fringes the bank of the river, and beyond it the swamps 
extend to the foot of the mountains. A few miles above the 
deltoic mouth of the Ai the forest subsides into shrub, and 
near the lake we have a plain covered with high grass. The 
Ai has a very tortuous course, and the current occasionally is 
five or six miles an hour. Bars and snags occur ; the depth 
over the former does not exceed a foot, but elsewhere it is 
four to eight feet. The water is transparent. If we follow 
the course of the Ai, and then of its tributary the Khoil, 
and cross the watershed between the latter and the Tumji, 
six hundred feet above the sea, we reach Port Imperial. 

Of other affluents of the Kidzi Lakethe Taba alone deserves 
to be noticed. It is the Tabamatsi of Mamia Binso, and the 
inhabitants of Sakhalin were in the habit of dragging their 
boats overland from Musibo, a spot on the sea-coast, to this 
river and then continuing their journey down the stream 
and across Kidzi lake to the Amur and the nearest station 
of Manchu traders. 

Kidzi Lake is separated from Castries Bay by the coast- 
range — Sikhote Alin of the Chinese, Beregovoi Khrebet of 
the Russians — and where the road from Sofyevsk, or that 
from the Fedorovsk station on the upper Kidzi Lake, 
crosses it, its elevation is inconsiderable. Nor are the 
summits of the range and its branches, which spread them- 
selves north and south of the lake to the banks of the Amur, 
of any great elevation. They are generally of a rounded 
shape, surmounted occasionally by a rocky peak, and the 
flanks cut up by deep ravines through which mountain 
torrents make their way. All these mountains are covered 
with dense forests of conifers which are intermixed on the 
western slope with larches, aspens, birches and even elms. 
As we descend towards Castries Bay the trees are of a more 




■ 1 1 « A - A ^feJBir. ^ 


S&ua dittos iniktkoms. 

Dx«.wn byZ.i-V.RfVTjsT.rm. 

London, Tr.iibnerACo. 

TYR. 193 

all kinds of vegetables are cultivated successfully, whilst 
extensive pasturage is found on the islands on the river, and 
on the plateau in the rear of the settlements. The colonists 
also profit by supplying firewood to passing steamers in 
summer, and horses for the post during winter. Accustomed 
to the rigours of a Siberian climate they are evidently satis- 
fied with their lot, though the country would not by any 
means appear fertile and desirable in our estimation. But 
these agricultural settlements were the first established on 
the Amur, and the government was restricted in- its choice of 
locality from the necessity of securing the settlers against 
any sudden attack of the Chinese, a defence effectually 
accomplished by the batteries of Mariinsk ; and from solicitude 
to raise provisions in the immediate vicinity of the troops 
stationed on the Lower Amur. 

On the right bank the range of mountains intervening 
between the river and coast, often forms precipices of three 
hundred feet towards the former. The rocks consist of clay- 
slate of unequal stratification, and a metallic lustre, with 
indications of iron ores. Near Pul the clay-slate alternates 
with layers of greyish-green quarzite. The whole mass has 
evidently been subjected to the action of fire. At Tyr com- 
pact limestone is met with. The mountainous country is 
covered with forests of conifers ; birches and a few stunted 
oaks and poplars thrive only on the lower ground. Herbage 
is found on the islands, and on some level elevated tracts in 
the vicinity of the river. 

The left bank is undulating, swampy and wooded, and 
the Amur communicates here with a large lake, the Udal or 
ChogaL The river Amgun which enters here, passes in its 
lower course through similar undulating country, and still 
further down branches of the Amur communicate on the 
left with the lakes of Orel and Ohlia. 

Half a mile below the village of Tyr, and not far from the 
mouth of the Amgun, a bold cliff rises to the height of one 


hundred feet, and upon its summit have been discovered 
some monuments and the remains of an ancient temple. 
The first of these monuments stands two paces from the 
precipice and is about five feet high. Its base is granite, 
and the upper portion a grey fine-grained marble. From 
two inscriptions upon this monument we learn, that in 
former times a temple or monastery stood here. The 

Archimandrite Avvakum who deciphered the inscriptions, 
believes them to have been made by some illiterate Mongol 
Lama, not thoroughly acquainted with Chinese grammar, 
who wrote " Tzi-yun-nin-zy," instead of " Yun-nin-zy-tzi," 
i.e. " Inscription on the Monastery of Eternal Repose." On 
the back of the monument a similar inscription occurs in 

On the left-hand side stand the Sanscrit words "Om- 
mam-badme-khum," and beneath in Chinese, "Dai Yuan 
shoueh'hi-li-gun-bu," i.e. "The great Yuan spread the hands 
of force everywhere." In a second line, on the same side, 
the words of Om-mani-badme-khum are written in Chinese 
and Nigurian. The inscription on the right side contain the 
same in Chinese, Tibetan and Nigurian. 

The sentence " Om-mani-badme-khum " is composed ac- 
cording to Elaproth of four Hindu words. Om is an inter- 
rogation corresponding to our " oh !" Manx signifies "jewel" 
or "precious stone," Badma is the lotus which plays so 
important a part in the mythology and religion of India, 
and Khum is a mystical interjection in Sanscrit, having no 
particular meaning. The sentence might thus be rendered, 

AT TYR. 195 

" Oh ! precious lotus ! Amen." According to the Lamas, 
the doctrine contained in these words is immense, and 
embodies a prayer which believers cannot repeat too often/ 

A second monument stands four paces from the first, and 
almost upon the brink of the precipice. It consists of an 
octagon pedestal upon which rests part of a porphyry column. 

According to native tradition, the upper portion of the 
column was precipitated into the river by the Russians on 
their first arrival on the Amur. A third monument of 
granite similar- to the first, stands five paces further; this 
also bears an inscription. And lastly, about three hundred 
and fifty yards from the third of these monument?, stands 
upon a narrow promontory an octagon column, larger than 
the others. On the plateau, a short distance behind the monu- 
ments, are to be seen the remains of ancient walls, nine to ten 
feet high. Several square stones with a groove an inch deep 
cut across them lie about, and are probably even now used oc- 
casionally by the Gilyaks for sacrifices. The natives look upon 
this spot with veneration ; the Shamans carry on here their 
religious rites, and Collins found the stones ornamented with 
wood-shavings fashioned into flowers. The Russians knew 
of the existence of these monuments in the seventeenth 
century. We read in Witsen (p. 67), " It is said that some 

r For more details we refer to Hue and Gabet's Travels through China 
and Tibet. 




thirty or forty years ago, Russian warriors found a bell 
weighing six hundred and sixty pounds, at a place which 
seemed to have been dug round, and near which stood 

several stones bearing Chinese inscriptions. The natives 
living there said, that-long ago a Chinese emperor had come 
to the Amur by sea, and erected the monuments and left the 
bell in commemoration, whence it was concluded that China 
and Japan might be reached this way." A manuscript of 
1678 in the library of the Siberian Department mentions the 
same facts. 

The view from these monuments is exceedingly beautiful. 
Towards the south, dark forests extend as a waving sea, 
above which rises now and then the barren crest of a 
mountain ridge. Towards the north is the mouth of the 
Amgun with deltoic islands covered with forests, and the 
eye may trace towards the west, the wide valley through 


which that river takes its course, its banks formed by tun- 
dras, bounded by impenetrable forests of conifers. 

The banks of the Amur north of the Amgun are abrupt, 
the islands low and to a great extent exposed to inundations. 
Porphyries enclosing small fragments of felspar and horn- 
blende, with an admixture of lamellae of mica prevail to a 
great extent, until they give way in the neighbourhood of 
Nikolayevsk to a reddish metamorphic clay-slate with 
metallic lustre. Fir trees prevail here, and birches and 
some few other foliferous trees occur only in more favoured 


Nikolayevsk, until lately the most important Russian 
station on the Amur, is situated upon a wooded plateau, on 
the left bank of the river. The landing-place is available 
only for small craft, and larger vessels have to lie in the 
middle of the river, which has a width here of a mile and a 
half. When we ascend the stairs leading from the landing- 
place to the plateau upon which the town is built, we have 
on the right the government machine establishment, super- 
intended by Mr. Barr, who brought over the two first 
steamers from America, and in 1858 received a gold medal 


"for zeal." A saw-mill is attached to this establishment. 
In its rear, a number of log-houses are scattered about, 
forming the " Slobodka " or suburb of Nikolayevak. These 
are inhabited by sailors and workmen; the stumps of 
trees still remaining between them render walking by night 
rather unsafe. Returning to the top of the stairs we have 
Nikolayevak on the left. The main street runs parallel with 
the edge of the plateau, from which some " gardens " or 
rather waste lands separate it. The first house at the corner 
is a tavern. It was formerly the officers' club ; which has 
been suppressed owing to frequent disputes and personal 
encounters among its members. Gcrstfeldt speaks of a library 
of 4,000 volumes, a ball-room and large dining-room in 
the club-house. He also speaks of the principal European 
newspapers kept there, and not disfigured by the censor's 
black ink. All this is however very much exaggerated. 
Capt. Priitz tells me that this famous club can scarcely com- 
pare to a low German beer-house. Of newspapers he saw 
but very few and these were months old. The next building 
on the left is the Pay-office, the third building the Police- 
station. Between these two latter is an open space in 
the centre of which stands the church, very neatly built 
of wood, the trunks in the lower part being left in their 
rough state and the roof painted green. This church is 
ornamented with one large steeple and four small ones. 
Behind the church, and facing the "square" stands the 
" chancellerie," a large wooden building, a hundred by fifty 
feet, surmounted by a mast-head from which the ships in 
the harbour may be signalled. Of other buildings, most of 
them in the three side streets, we may mention the hospital, 
the apothecary's shop, the store-house of the Amur Company, 
a school for pilots' and soldiers' sons, a bath, the town residence 
of the governor, a second tavern, and a watchmaker's shop. 
The houses are of wood with strong doors and windows, and 
their interior arrangement leaves nothing to be desired. The 


governor has a country residence about two miles west of the 
town, on a prominent cliff, whence there is a most extensive 
view. Attached to it is a kitchen-garden, and in the neigh- 
bourhood some Russian peasants have been established, who 
supply the town with eggs, poultry and butter. The 
population of Nikolayevsk in 1858 was 2,552, including 
three hundred and sixty-nine females, and 1,518 soldiers 
and sailors. There were forty-nine dwelling houses belong- 
ing to Government, and two hundred belonging to private 
individuals ; twenty-seven uninhabited houses belonged to 
government, and there were besides one government and 
eleven private stores, of which seven belonged to foreign 

The approaches to the town are guarded by four batteries 
commanding the upper and lower part of the river. The 
winter station for the shipping is £t the village of Vait, 
fifteen miles above the town. The ships are protected against 
the floating ice by piles rammed into the river. On the 
shore have been built a house for the superintendent of the 
station, barracks for a hundred men, and a bath. 

The vicinity of Nikolayevsk is not suited for agricultural 
pursuits, and the Russian peasants have therefore been 
settled at the villages extending for about seventy miles 
below Mariinsk, and mentioned before. Oats, barley and 
rye, but vegetables especially have been cultivated there 
with success. Near Nikolayevsk, and in the coast region 
generally white birches and aspens, the only foliferous trees, 
are found nowhere but in the most favoured spots. Large 
forests of conifers, with extensive swampy tracts, cover the 
country. Ayan spruce prevails, and with the pitch pine and 
the Daurian larch constitutes the forests. The underwood is 
formed of Pyrus sambucifolia and Aucuparia, wild rosemary, 
Siberian dwarf pine. Along the coast wide tracts are 
covered with Elymus mollis, and at the edge Lathyrus mariti- 
mus and Rosa rugosa have become naturalised. 


The Liman of the Amur. 

The Amur at Nikolayevsk has a breadth of one mile and 
a quarter, the current is three to four knots. 

Twenty-two miles lower, between the Capes Tebakh and 
Pronge the river enters the Liman or Gulf of the Amur. 
The distance between these two capes is seven miles and a 
half. The depth of the river opposite to Nikolayevsk is 
eleven fathoms at low water, but further down it fc in some 
places but three fathoms. The banks are generally high 
and wooded. The rocks consist chiefly of a brownish red 
lava, enclosing small empty cells with white sides. Sand- 
stones mixed with amphibolite and a fine-grained clay-slate 
of ash grey colour, occur now and then. 

The Liman of the Amur is a wide expanse of water extend- 
ing sixty-five miles from north to south, and having a 
breadth of twenty-five miles opposite the mouth of the Amur. 
The continental coast is steep, with some prominent head- 
lands. The rocks consist of porphyry and lava, or of a 
reddish limestone, which at Gape Panza was ascertained to 
contain petrifactions of craw-fish. On an island not far 
from this cape, was found a hard clay-slate enclosing a great 
quantity of neo-crystallised sulphureous pyrites. Agates have 
been found in the alluvium along the coast. 

The Liman at the ebb leaves many banks exposed. Its 
water, as might naturally be expected, is brackish, and the 
effects of the tide are scarcely perceptible. Its navigation is 
extremely intricate, and only to be accomplished with the 
aid of a good pilot, but even then vessels drawing above 
thirteen feet of water cannot enter the Amur. The main 
navigable channel called South Fairway* extends from the 
mouth of the Amur, at Gape Pronge, to the south, and enters 
the Channel of Tatary between the Gapes Lazaref and 

• On the British Admiralty Chart; in the original Russian M Vaar- 
water M or waterway. 


Pogobi, three miles and a half apart, with a depth of water 
of from five to twelve fathoms. The current on entering 
the gulf is five knots an hour. Vessels drawing no more 
than three feet may proceed from the Gulf of Tatary to 
the Sea of Okhotsk, if they follow the " Sakhalin Fairway " 
along the coast of Sakhalin. Vessels desirous to enter the 
river from the Sea of Okhotsk must sail along this " Fair- 
way " near to the southern extremity of the Liman, and 
then go along the South Channel. The North Channel 
which from Cape Tebakh runs beside the mainland has a 
depth of two and a quarter fathoms, but is closed in the north 
by a sand-bar, passable only for boats. Buoys have lately 
been laid down in the South Channel, and a steamer of 
suitable draft may sail now from Nikolayevsk to Cape Lazaref 
in twelve hours — a passage which in former times often 
occupied several weeks. Vessels proceeding to the Amur 
take up a pilot at Castries Bay.* 

* See Appendix, Observations on the Navigation of the Qulf of the 
Amur, etc. By Captain Prtttz. 




The country to the north of the Amur, as far as we bring it 
within the range of our observations, is bounded by the 
Stanovoi Khrebet forming the watershed between the rivers 
flowing to the Arctic ocean and those tributary to the 
Amur. This country may be naturally subdivided into two 
portions — the one is mountainous and roved over by nomadic 
Reindeer Tunguzians and Yakutes, the other a continuation 
of the prairies noticed previously during our descent of the 
Amur. The mountainous tract consists of extensive table- 
lands, wooded, and to a great extent occupied by large mossy 
swamps. Upon the former repose mountain-ridges capped 
by conical, barren peaks. The elevation of the table-lands 
is estimated at from 1,000 to 2,000 feet ; that of the passes 
leading from one river basin to the other may be 2,000 to 
3,000 feet, whilst the culminating mountain-peaks do not 
probably exceed five or six thousand feet. Middendorf has 
proposed to subdivide the Stanovoi Khrebet into the 
Olekma, Dzeya, Bureya and Aldan mountains, named thus 
after the rivers the tributaries of which rise on their slopes. 
The prairies along the Amur from the Dzeya to the 

° "Stanovoi Khrebet" signifies " Framework Mountains," and this name 
was given by the early Cossacks to these mountains, which they 
encountered at every point on going to the Amur, in the same way as they 
named the " Ural," that is u belt " or "girdle." Geographers frequently 
confound the Yablonoi with the Stanovoi, the former however extend 
from the Chokondo along the watershed separating the tributaries of 
the Baikal from those of the Shilka and Amur. 

middendorf's journey. 203 

western foot of the Bureya mountains, continue for a great 
distance along the Dzeya and Bureya rivers and their tri- 
butaries. Along the former they extend, with a short inter- 
ruption about the mouth of the Gilu, to the Byranta ; and 
on the Bureya to the mouth of the Niman. The prairies of 
the Lower Amur are of less extent, and are bounded by the 
Bureya mountains and their offshoots. 

The principal rivers which enter on the left bank of the 
Amur are the Dzeya, the Bureya, the Gtorin and the Amgun. 
These rivers in their upper courses are narrowed in by steep 
and rocky banks, but even near to their sources they are of 
considerable breadth, and yet have a swift current. The 
mountains, after a while recede, the rivers are divided into 
numerous branches enclosing wooded islands, and commu- 
nicate with shallow lakes forming back waters. Where they 
enter the level prairie region the current is slow. 

Our knowledge of this region mainly rests upon the 
exploratory journeys of Usultzof and Middendorf. In 
addition, a number of astronomical points have been deter- 
mined and published by the Astronomer Schwarz, v but that 
gentleman has not yet published an account of his journey- 
ings. The following account of Middendorf's journey is 
derived from the " Sibirische Reise," vol. iv. p. 181 — 194, 
but we have incorporated some remarks of that traveller 
dispersed in other parts of the book. 

Middendorf's Journey from the Sea of Okhotsk to 
Ust Strelka, 1844 — 5. 

"On the 22nd September 1844, I began my return 
journey by ascending the Tugur river. The Tugur is 
formed by the confluence of the rivulets Asyni and Konuni 
at a place called Burukan. The valley through which it 

▼ See Viestnik, 1855 ; Zeitsch. f. Erdk, 1856. 1. 


flows varies in breadth from thirteen to twenty miles. The 
Tugur is divided into numerous branches, and frequently 
its shallow waters rush over extensive gravel-banks, and 
though the breadth of the main channel is from eighty to 
one hundred and sixty-eight yards, it has sufficient depth for 
small canoes only. 

" At the elbow which the Tugur describes at Ukakyt, about 
eight miles below Burukan, it is separated from the Nemilen, 
a tributary of the Amgun, by a narrow neck of land, four to 
five miles wide. The Nigidals who dwell on the Amgun 
avail themselves of this favourable feature in crossing over 
to the Tugur, which is on Russian territory (in 1843). At 
Burukan, where we stayed from the 2nd to 8th October, we 
found permanently settled three families of Nigidals who at 
that time were still looked upon as Chinese subjects. They 
had still continued in constant communication with the other 
members of their tribe. We also found here a Turt of 
Russo-Tunguzians, and three small block houses belonging 
to Yakute Air-traders, who come to this place annually in 
December to barter with the Tunguzians, who at that season 
assemble in great numbers. 

" We left the Tugur on the 8th October, and crossed the 
low watershed which separates that river from the basin of 
the Amur, in a direction of south-west by south. The 
distance to the Nemilen is here eighteen miles, and where we 
came upon that river it flows through a wide- wooded valley 
towards the north-east by east. The current is strong and 
the course tortuous. The river encloses many densely- 
wooded islands, but its depth does not exceed six feet. 
Ascending it for six miles, we came to a place called 
Khamykan, where in autumn the Tunguzians congregate in 
large numbers to carry on the fishing of the Eeta salmon, 
which ascends from the sea and arrives here about that time. 
On dispersing, many Tunguzians go hence to the Dzeya 
mountains to hunt. 


"On leaving Khamykan we sought, as far as the hilly 
ground would permit us, to keep towards the south-west in 
the direction of the Bureya sources, which we were told 
lay beyond the main mountain-range which now and then 
appeared in the distance. We crossed over from the 
Nemilen to the valley of the Kerbi, one or its tributaries, 
the sources of which are near to those of the Silimji and 
Bureya, The further we proceeded along the valley of the 
Kerbi, the more difficult we found it to advance ; the trunks 
of fallen trees proved greater obstacles even than steep 
mountain slopes and rocky precipices. Near the mouth of 
the Jaer it was difficult to force a passage even with the aid 
of the hatchet. At other seasons our progress would pro- 
bably have been still further impeded by the occurrence of 
swampy places. At all events, we crossed a large tract, 
evidently of moor-land, in close proximity to the Pass which 
leads to the Bureya. Having traversed this, we entered a 
narrow defile leading to the summit of the pass, where our 
animals had to jump from rock to rock. On the other side 
we descended to one of the sources of the Bureya through a 
valley about one hundred yards wide, and bounded by steep 
wooded slopes, offshoots from the barren heights higher up. 
(19th October.) 

" We followed the course of the southern head-river of 
the Bureya w upon which we had come, and which little more 
than sixteen miles in a straight line from the Pass has a 
breadth of sixty yards, forms wooded islands, and flows along 
a valley on an average two hundred yards wide. Sometimes 
precipitous rocks circumscribe the bed of the river ; some- 
times the river alternately washes the steep slopes abutting 
upon it on either bank. The declivities are wooded, but 
in many instances the bare rocks appear. The slopes on the 
right bank of the Bureya have an angle of thirty-five 

v On the Bureya Middendorf discovered excellent coal, containing 
71-475 carbonate, 4*153 water, 8*638 ashes. 


degrees, are intersected by deep ravines, and the mountains 
rise above the region of forests. On the left bank the 
mountains are at a greater distance, their contours are more 
rounded, but they frequently abut upon the river in cliffe of 
little elevation. At the place where the two head-rivers of 
the Bureya unite, the breadth is one hundred and twenty 
yards, and the river is divided into numerous branches ; the 
width of the valley, however, does not increase in the same 

" Below Taz Khandyvyt the easy slopes of the mountains 
frequently enabled us to cross them, and thus to avoid a 
circuitous course along the river ; but as far as the mouth of 
the Lyukdikan the valley is bounded by high mountains, 
which only at the Umaltin recede and give way to gentle 
declivities, which to all appearance form the termination of 
an undulating plateau. A Chinese frontier mark is said to 
exist near the mouth of the Umaltin. Below this rivulet, the 
valley of the Bureya has a breadth of one and a half miles, 
and the river flows without further obstacles, to the west by 
south. It still encloses numerous wooded islands frequently 
above a mile long. Below the Jepko, the river repeatedly 
communicates with small lakes, forming backwaters. The 
depth, as far as I was able to ascertain, did not exceed 
two to four feet. It is however to be observed that the 
shallower places alone were accessible to me, the deeper places 
having been covered with ice for some time. 

" The Tunguzians avail themselves of a short cut in going 
from the Bureya to the upper Kiman ; but as we were un- 
acquainted with its direction, we had to follow the course of 
the Bureya almost to its confluence with that river, and 
saved but a few miles by crossing a low swampy tract at the 
fork of the two rivers. Only in the north and north-east of 
this level could hills be seen. We came upon the Nimakan, 
a tributary of the Niman, a few miles above its mouth. It 
is a rather large mountain stream, eighty yards wide, and 


enters the Niman between two inconsiderable heights, forming 
low cliffs. The Niman at the confluence has a breadth of 
one hundred and sixty yards, and was, of course, covered 
with ice. I had been told that a Chinese boundary mark 
stood here, but owing to the deep snow did not succeed in 
finding it. 

" With the Niman we had attained our southernmost point. 
We now turned towards the north north-west, almost at right 
angles to our previous route, to go to Inkan on the Silimji. 
Inkan is a spot far-famed among the nomadic tribes of these 
mountains, and I expected to meet there a relay of reindeer 
in accordance with arrangements made during the summer, — 
as the small herd I had with me would naturally be tired 
out, and I could not afford to stay to recruit their strength. 

"At the fork of the Niman and Bureya the mountainous 
region gives way to extensive, swampy prairies, which can 
be traversed only with horses. The natives consider the 
Niman the chief arm of the Bureya, and that river, down to 
its mouth into the Amur, is consequently known to them as 
Niman or Nyuman. The Russians give precedence to the 
Bureya ; but it would be difficult to say which of the two 
assumptions is the most tenable. The Niman, as far as we 
ascended it, was bounded by hills inclining steeply towards 
the river, and approaching often to within one hundred 
yards, so that, even during winter when the water is low, the 
river occupies nearly the whole breadth of the valley. The 
latter is occasionally bounded by low cliffs. These hills are 
however of no great elevation, have rounded contours, and 
alternate with low wooded banks. The further we proceeded 
up the valley, the more it seemed as if cut in an undulating 
plateau. A few miles below the mouth of the Kerbeli the 
valley was wider than lower down, but even then its 
breadth did not exceed 3,000 yards. 

" We now ascended for some time the tortuous course of the 
Kerbeli, sixty yards wide, turned to the north, and advanced 


along the Kochulyn. This tributary of the Kerbeli flows 
through a valley of little depth, two and a half miles wide, 
and bounded by gentle slopes of a swampy nature. The view 
is almost unlimited, and only on the left could be seen a 
prominent barren peak. The journey from here to the Silimji 
offered no difficulty whatever. We advanced across a low 
and level ridge, and the numerous rivers and watersheds 
could be crossed without being obliged anxiously to follow the 
course of the chief rivers. 

" At the Kerbeli we met the first human beings since leaving 
the Tugur. At its mouth stands the hut of a Yakut, who 
for six years has resided here during the winter, and who 
has for neighbours four KussO-Tunguzian families. 

" The next human habitation is at Inkan, where a Yakut 
trader owns a small log-house. We reached this hut on the 
15th November, having a few miles previously crossed the 
Silimji, which forms here numerous branches inclosing 
wooded islands. Lower down, the river has steep rocky 
banks of middling elevation. 

" At Inkan, the nomades of the mountains meet occa- 
sionally, and are supplied with the necessaries of life by Yakut 
traders, who come either direct from Yakutsk or by way of 
Udsk. The fame of Inkan as a place of trade is spread far 
and near among the Tunguzians, and even Daurians. We 
stayed here a week in expectation of the relay of reindeer, 
which arrived with surprising punctuality/ 

"On leaving Inkan, we turned to the south-west by 
south. After ten miles we came upon the Silimji, and 
followed its course for two and a quarter miles. 
We then left that river and proceeded towards the 
Dzeya, in a direction west north west. In this tract 
also we did not meet with any steep mountain 

x Here an old Tunguzian was pointed out to Middendorf, who prided 
himself upon having shot, towards the latter end of the last century, 
five Russian deserters. 


crests, but only gentle ridges of little elevation ; and were 
thus enabled to discard the direction of the valleys and rivers, 
the more considerable of which even we could cross without 
any difficulty. Traversing one after another, watersheds 
and watercourses, we did not again descend into a valley 
approaching in depth that of the Bureya. In close proximity 
even to the Silimji, and not far from the Iarakhan heights, 
we found the TTsourdur rivulet flowing through a shallow 
valley a mile wide, and the valley of its counterpart, the 
TJsur, was still wider. Nevertheless we were here close to 
the division between the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and 
those of the Amur, for the sources of the Shivili, which flows 
to the Ud, were but forty' to forty-seven miles distant. The 
only rivers deserving notice,' which we crossed on our route 
to the Dzeya, were the Nara and its tributary the Dukda, 
and although the former of these is looked upon as the main 
river, I found its bed which was bounded by low but occa- 
sionally steep and sometimes rocky banks, not to exceed one 
hundred and twenty yards, whilst that of the Dukda had a 
breadth of two hundred. The Nara may possibly make up 
by depth what it lacks in breadth. Its undivided straight 
course at once struck me, whilst the Dukda separates into 
branches, and at the spot where we crossed it enclosed a 
wooded island. All other rivers we passed over near their 
sources, where their breadth did not exceed twenty to thirty 
yards. The banks throughout were densely wooded. 7 

" We were enabled to continue our direction to the foot of 
the Kyoekh-Kaya mountains where they approach the mouth 
of the Gilui. We were however compelled by this mountain 
range to make a detour towards the south, and reached the 
Dzeya ten miles below the mouth of the Gilui (15th of 

y Aooording to the statement of the Tunguzians a Chinese frontier 
mark stands at the mouth of the Me van into the Nara ; and another at 
the mouth of the Killer into the Silimji. 



" The valley of the Dzeya (Zeya) of the Russians (Je-iiraekh 
of the Yakutes and Ji-onikan of the Tunguz) below the mouth 
of the Gilui has a width of little more than a mile, and is 
bounded by high mountains with steep declivities, and cut 
up by deep ravines. The river has a breadth of about two 
hundred yards and alternately washes the foot of the moun- 
tains on its right or left bank, the banks being thus either 
rocky precipices or gentle inclines, well wooded. We 
ascended the Dzeya to the Gilui, and I carefully inspected 
the frontier mark which stands here. It is upon a terrace of 
a steep slope, and consists of a pyramid about the height of a 
man and containing eight cubic feet. Close to it a square 
tablet was suspended on a tree by horsehair, and the inscrip- 
tion upon it, which I copied accurately, showed that the 
mark had last been inspected two years and a half previously. 
The Tunguzian who served me as guide, told me that a 
Mandarin, whose barge was towed by six or seven men, 
inspected the mark once in three years. I met here a Eusso- 
Tunguzian who saluted me in the Chinese fashion by folding 
his hands and bending his knees. Our Tunguzians had 
been constantly warned by the Chinese official, that they 
had no business there, but on learning that they were poor 
and had no reindeer, and could not therefore get away, he 
took no further notice of them. 

" The width of the Gilui is about half that of the Dzeya. 
For several days we journeyed along its banks. It was 
narrowed in by high precipitous slopes, often barren; and 
we were compelled slavishly to follow its many bends. Only 
towards the Kokhan the declivities become more gentle, and 
at length, a few miles below the mouth of the Dabukyt 
we were able to leave the valley of the river, and, turning 
towards the west, came upon the Dabukyt about the mi^fo 
of its course." We then turned towards the south, and for a 

> The Tungujrians told me that the great-grandfather of the old 
woman who lit my fire had seen the first Russians, six or seven of 
whom he slew in their sleep, on the upper Byranta. 


few days travelled in a direction forming an acute angle 
with the course of the Gilui as far as we had followed it. On 
the upper Aimkan we found ourselves still confined to a 
narrow valley. The mountains are however low. At the 
Erakingra, a tributary of the Aimkan, we again encountered 
a feature which we had lost sight of for months. Notwith- 
standing the many mountains which surrounded us, frequently 
of great height, and of a rocky nature, our route since we 
had entered the basin of the TTr, daily led across more or 
less extensive tracts of grassy swamp with small lakes, and 
easy ridges and declivities. The Tendi, which had been 
described to us as rich in islands, flowed, where we crossed 
it, along a shallow valley, and each of its two branches had 
a width of fifty yards. The main branch of the TJr had a 
width of ninety yards.- The course of this river is very 
tortuous, and it is divided into branches. At one time it is 
bounded by steep and rocky banks, in the midst of an undu- 
lating country ; at others by low and swampy tracts, with 
small lakes. 

"Ascending the tributary valleys of the TJr, especially that 
of the Kerak, they gradually grow more open and shallow. 
From the sources of the Kerak, we traversed a slightly inclined 
open plain, forming a connecting link between the mountains 
stretching north and south. Having crossed this plain, the 
basin of the Dzeya, in which we had been travelling for two 
months and a half, lay behind us, and we entered the im- 
mediate basin of the Amur. Where we crossed the Oldoi it 
has a breadth of eighty yards. On approaching the TJrichi 
I was surprised to see in this wilderness a staggering Tun- 
guzian, whom my sudden and unexpected appearance did not 
at all disconcert in his then clouded state of understanding. 
On the contrary, he stuttered, * Oh ! here's the Cossack 
Captain.' Whence did brandy penetrate into this wilder- 
ness ? The few nomades whom I had met assured me that 
fire-water was not to be procured at all, adding, however, 

212 usoltzof's journey. 

cautiously, that even if so, it was only at an unattainable 
price. The riddle was soon solved, for a few miles further 
dense columns of smoke rose in the forest, and we came upon 
a party of frontier Cossacks, who had come to this place with 
their commanding officer to collect tribute in furs, which the 
nomades (Oronchon) of this country annually pay to Russia. 
Tribute was thus being levied on what was undoubtedly 
Chinese territory. The panic which my unlooked-for appa- 
rition produced, was so great, that we had much ado to 
prevent the party making off in all directions, and we sadly 
wanted their horses. When I found on nearer acquaintance- 
ship that these Cossacks were excellent men, open-hearted 
even to bluntness, and not crafty borderers, I could clearly 
perceive how much our government had frightened them 
about the frontier. The configuration of the country 
naturally leads the Ust Strelka Cossacks to seek the Chinese 
territory for the purpose of carrying on their profitable fur- 
trade. The very existence of their horses and cattle depends 
upon the hay which they collect along the Amur. Many 
peasants also annually cross the frontier to hunt squirrels 
along both banks of the Amur. 

" We were enabled to exchange our reindeer for horses, 
and on the 12th January 1845, reached the Amur, and con- 
tinued on its ice the journey to Ust Strelka, where we 
arrived on the 14th. 

" After a repose of two days we rode across the mountains 
to Gorbitza, whence levelled roads took us to Nerchinsk." 

TJsoltzof's Journey to the Source of the Gilxti and 
to the dzeya ; summer 1856.* 

The starting-point of this expedition was Ust Strelka. The 
provisions were sent from Nerchinsk on rafts down the river, 

• Viestnik of Russian Geographical Society, 1858, Part iv. ; Zeitsch. 
f. Erdk. 1858. v.; Erman's Archiv. 1858, vol. xvii. 


together with instruments, horses, etc., and arrived on the 
10th June. Three days afterwards the chief of the Ninagan 
Oronchons, Grigori Nikolayef, who had been engaged by 
Lieutenant Orlof to accompany this expedition as guide, 
arrived. He knew the country well as far as the Khrebet 
Atychan ; Usoltzof hoped to meet with some natives for the 
journey beyond. On the 14th of June, Usoltzof left Ust 
Strelka. His suite consisted of the guide, a soldier who had 
accompanied hijfi on his first journey, two Cossacks, a sub- 
officer and a hired attendant for the horses. This man acted 
also as interpreter. There were sixteen pack- and seven 
saddle-horses. The Amur was descended for eight miles, to 
the mouth of the Mongalei ; the journey thence was con- 
tinued on horseback. Incessant rains much delayed the 
progress of the expedition, and it required a month's journey 
to reach the fork of the Oldoi river, a distance of one 
hundred and fifteen miles, which under ordinary circum- 
stances might be made in nine days, especially as a track 
regularly used by the fur-traders leads to it. Usoltzof 
expected to find Lieutenant Orlof here, but came too late. 
In the hope of being able to make some reliable astronomical 
observations he stayed for three days, until the 22nd July, 
but was prevented from carrying out his intention by foggy 
and rainy nights. He therefore continued his journey up 
the eastern branch of the Oldoi. "The features of the 
country change sensibly ; the luxuriant pasture-lands of the 
Amur disappear altogether. A dense growth of dwarfish 
larches prevails. Intermixed with these appear groups of 
birches, red firs and shrubs, and now and then in dry situa- 
tions some common pines. The soil is moor-land overgrown 
with moss, but at times the loose subsoil or coarse boulders 
lie bare. In a word, the country becomes a rough, barren 
wilderness. The Oronchon are attracted to this district 
solely by the great abundance of squirrels, but do not stay 
longer than is absolutely necessary. On approaching the 


sources of the Oldoi the deration of the country becomes 
considerable, the mountain crests are higher and steeper, and 
in many places barren, lofty glacier-peaks come in view. 
Forage for the horses was only to be found in the deep 
tributary valleys of the Oldoi, and but casually in narrow 
strips along the banks of the Oldoi itself. The length of our 
day's journey did not therefore depend entirely upon our 
inclinations ; we had to stay where forage could be found. 

" On the 2nd August we reached the source of the Oldoi, 
and having crossed a high mountain range, descended to the 
source of the Tanda. The valley of the Tanda is swampy ; 
no herbage was to be found. It is bounded on each side by 
a chain of mountains, rendered almost impassible by ravines, 
dense forests and high shrubs. At times the thickets were 
so impervious as to require the use of a hatchet to make a 
path. Numerous small rivulets had to be crossed, especially 
near the Gilui. Their proximity might be divined a mile 
before actually seeing them: as soon as the descent from 
the mountains began, swampy places, overgrown at first with 
moss, appeared ; closer to the river the moss is replaced by a 
rugged moor, the hollowB of which are filled with water. 
These pools feed the rivulet which at last makes its appear- 
ance, taking its course between steep moor-hills, its banks 
overgrown with shrubs, and its breadth not exceeding fourteen 
feet. It would be waste of time to seek for a suitable place 
to ford it : the character of the country is everywhere the 
same: up hill and down hill, and again a rivulet. The 
forest is unbroken by a single meadow ; even where fire has 
passed through it, there is but a scanty growth of short 
grass on the burnt soil. Large tracts of land, not only along 
the mountain slopes, but also on the water-sheds are covered 
with red and yellow mosses. The valley of the Gilui, formed 
by steep mountain-slopes, consists of a wide-spread carpet of 
moss, upon which appeared but sparingly some few groves of 
dwarf-like larches. The natives call such ground ' UvaL' 


In consequence of the roughness of the ground we lost seven 
horses. It was found difficult to devise means to facilitate 
the crossing of the rivers ; the horses stuck fast in the swamps, 
and the baggage got soaked. Our biscuits grew mouldy, 
and there were few glimpses of fine weather to dry them. 
On arriving at the Atychan we had only seven pud of 
biscuits left, half of which was putrid, and some brick 

" However desirable it might appear to me to ascend the 
Khrebet Atychan and determine its altitude, the swollen 
rivulets separating us from it, rendered it impracticable to 
approach its base either on horseback or on foot. Its 
direction is north-west and south-east, and two peaks one at 
each extremity bound it distinctly ; the distance intervening 
between them is about three and one-third miles, occupied by 
several other peaks of various elevation, separated from each 
other by narrow, deep ravines. They are of pyramidal 
shape ; the slope, which at the foot is interrupted now and 
then by small terraces, on ascending gets steeper and 
steeper, until the summits present precipitous masses of 
granitic rock. In the ravines and on the terraces are found 
a few trees and shrubs, but the more elevated portions are 
perfectly barren." 

On the 30th August our traveller left the Atychan, and 
from the eastern source of the Gilui which he reached on 
the 20th September, ascended the Kuduli rivulet to the water- 
shed, consisting here of an abrupt range of hills, grown over 
with moss, whence numerous rivulets flowing in all direc- 
tions take their rise. He soon after fell in with a party of 
Oronchons. " Our guide had observed the trail of rein-deer 
whence we crossed a swampy rivulet, and inferred after a 
careful examination that Oronchons had been in the neigh- 
bourhood about three days before. This was good news. I 
hoped to obtain a guide from them, and, moreover, we had 
already decided to kill a horse that evening, as our biscuit 

216 • THE ILIKAN. 

was unfit for food, and we had only a few pounds of butter 
and flour left. We followed the footprints and came to the 
Yurts in the evening. Our arrival surprised the Oronchons 
not a little. They did not belong to the same tribe as our 
guide, but nomadised generally in the province of Yakutsk, 
and merely came across the mountains to barter with the 
Oronchons dwelling near the Gilui. I purchased from them 
two small reindeer, but could not induce them to accompany 
us to the Dzeya. Their Yurts were situated at the source of 
the Jaltula (a tributary of the Gilui) but they persuaded us 
not to follow that river, as the Lower Gilui was full of water- 
falls and its steep banks rendered travelling with horses very 

TJsultzof therefore continued his journey towards the 
south-east, and on the 14th September came upon the 

" We supped here, for the last time, upon reindeer flesh. 
Early in the morning, I mustered the horses ; they were so 
thin and weak as scarcely to justify a hope of their being 
able to reach the Dzeya. My travelling companions had 
become very low-spirited, and, moreover, considered the 
eating of horse-flesh a carnal sin. My assurances, however, 
that we should meet with Manyargs on the Dzeya, a distance 
of thirty-three miles only, and that on their return the priest, 
would by prayer and fasting purge them of their sins, 
satisfied them for a time. 

" Our road led along the Ilikan. The valley of this 
rivulet winds its serpentine course along the precipitous 
mountain-chains which enclose it, and almost entirely consists 
of Tundras of red moss. Now and then the river passes 
through a defile. The mountains are not high, and at a first 
glance the country would appear to form an extensive 
plateau. Only towards the south-west, and at a great dis- 
tance, could we see the barren snow-capped mountains near 
the Gilui." 


" On approaching the mouth of the Ilikan, we left it and 
continued our journey towards the south-west, bearing 
towards the glacier Tukorinda, which is not far from the 
mouth of the Gilui. As we went on, the proximity of the 
Dzeya was perceived in the distance of all mountain-ranges 
and a gradual inclination of the country towards the south. 
A large expanse of country consisted of meadow-land, with 
small lakes, and willow and birch copses scattered about. We 
came upon the Dzeya quite unawares on the 14th September. 

" We had indeed seen it a mile below, but took it then 
for a long lake stretching out, as we had already passed 
several on our way, a mistake the better understood by the 
similar appearance of the country on the other bank of the 
river. We lost no time in building a raft. Fortunately we 
had come upon the Dzeya at a place where pines suitable 
for this purpose were to be found. 

" We had yet twelve horses left ; and I did not abandon 
the hope of being able to extend our exploratory journey to 
the Silimji, especially as the horses might recover their 
strength whilst we were employed building the raft. The 
reverse however was the case ; from day to day they became 
more emaciated, and the continuous rains, and even snow, 
together with the bad forage, rendered them quite incapable 
of continuing the journey. 

" For greater security we built two rafts, which together 
formed a ' Prahm/ On the 3rd October we loaded the rafts 
and left in the afternoon. The Dzeya has here a breadth of 
seven hundred yards, and its current is five miles the hour. 
For a distance' of twenty-one miles, following the windings 
of the river, meadows entered on both banks as far as the 
eye could reach. The mountains then gradually approached, 
first on the right bank then on the left, and the river flowed 
through a narrow defile. The current was stronger, and 
sunken rocks lay in the middle of the river, their proximity 
being indicated by the foaioing of the water splashing over 


them. These rocks increased in number, and in many 
places made their appearance above the water, which splashed 
against them and covered the river with spray. 

" Our raft was carried along with surprising rapidity, and 
we dared scarcely lift our eyes from off the river in our 
anxiety to prevent the raft being knocked to pieces. Swiftly 
we shot past the narrow defile through which the Gilui 
takes its course on joining the Dzeya. I had scarcely time 
to observe the pile of rocks forming the Chinese frontier- 
mark, placed on a steep high mountain at the fork formed 
by the two rivers. We continued fourteen and a half miles 
further through a similar country, but beyond, the moun- 
tains receded and formed an open valley, covered with high 
luxuriant grasses. The river increased considerably in 
breadth, and the current was so feeble that it sometimes 
appeared as if the raft remained long in the same place. 

" On the following day, 6th October, we met for the first 
time with Tunguzian Manyargs at the mouth of the Mokcha 
rivulet. Their birch-bark Yurt stood close to the river, and we 
saw the inhabitants from afar. On our approach, they took 
to flight, and it was only after we had staid for an hour in 
their Yurt, continually shouting, that they ventured to come 
nearer. However great was my joy at this meeting, my 
plans regarding further explorations derived no advantage 
from it. The Manyarg had horses, but could not be induced 
upon any terms to take us to the Silimji, assuring us, that 
should his doing so come to the ears of his chief, himself and 
family might lose their lives. He did not however refuse to 
accompany us some distance down the Dzeya, and we left 
after a stay of two hours. 

" The Manyarg accompanied us as far as the Umlekau 
river (10th October), where we found other Manyargs who 
received us hospitably. They were less timid than those we 
had met at first, probably because our Manyarg on approach- 
ing their Yurts, announced our arrival by several blasts upon a 


wooden horn. These Manyargs also refused to take us by 
land to the Silimji but agreed to accompany us down the 
river to its mouth. We were thus kept, as it were, under 
surveillance, for every day we came upon some families, who 
nomadise along the river, where they lie in wait for wild 
goats. This is their only occupation during that part of the 
year. Below the Umlekan the navigation became more 
difficult. The wind was high, and the ice which had began 
to form on the 7th became thicker. It only disappeared 
during calms, and as these happened generally during the 
night, it was only then that we made any progress, whilst 
during the day we had to combat not merely the wind 
but ice-blocks too. The moon-light enabled us to distin- 
guish the features of the country. In this manner we 
continued our journey to the 13th October in company of the 
Manyargs. The latter, during the night, went to some lakes 
in the vicinity to hunt deer, and favoured by a clear sky, I 
took advantage of this opportunity to make some astro- 
nomical observations. The site of observation was situated 
two and a half miles from a small, rocky islet, which 
separates the river into two branches, the left of which is 
considered dangerous by the Manyargs and Manchu who 
ascend the river to this place. 

" On the day following we continued our journey under 
the same difficulties, and on the 15th October arrived at the 
mouth of the Silimji. This large branch on entering the 
Dzeya forms an extensive delta consisting of low islands, 
overgrown with sand- willows, which completely conceal the 
the mouth. Had not the Manyargs drawn our attention to 
this, we should have passed without noticing it. Including 
islands, the Dzeya has here a breadth of three and a half 
miles ; the current is very alow. I was surrounded here by 
a large party of Manyargs, for this is the Meeting-place of 
the whole tribe, whence they go to the upper Silimji to hunt 
squirrels and sable. I took advantage of their hospitable 


reception to question them about the Silimji and the country- 
bordering upon it, but there were many discrepancies in 
their statements. The gist of the information I obtained is 
as follows. The Silimji is equal in size to the Dzeya ; the 
current is slow in its lower course but more rapid higher up. 
The river has not so many windings as the Dzeya or Amur. 
Among the tributaries the Manyargs mentioned one in par- 
ticular, about two and a half days' ride from the mouth. 
As far as this (the Kara of Middendorf), and for a short 
distance beyond, extensive meadows are found, upon which 
the Manyargs pasture their horses in the spring and summer. 
There are some mountain ranges, but they are not very 
elevated. Towards its source, and also in its middle course, 
some glaciers are met with. The Manyargs do not often 
ascend the river to its source, but generally stay at its lower 
and middle part. We may conclude from this that forage is 
to be found here. The mountains, forests and swamps higher 
up, probably afford no pasturage. 

" Below the mouth of the Silimji the character of the 
banks of the Dzeya changes rapidly. Hitherto the river 
had either passed through small, generally open plains, was 
enclosed by rocks, or accompanied by mountains on one or 
the other banks, the summits thinly wooded with pine, red 
fir, larch and birch. A short distance above the Silimji the 
mountains recede, and a wide plain extends on both sides, 
without either rocks or trees. As far as the eye reaches the 
plain is covered with high, luxuriant grass, intermixed with 
wild roses ; in low parts swamps with small lakes have been 
formed. Such is the appearance of the country for seventy- 
one miles. A mountain-chain then gradually approaches on 
the right, and forms a rocky bank. These are the mountains 
referred to in Milovanof 'a report as the ' White Mountains.' 
They consist of marl upon which rests clay-slate. 

" These mountains keep close to the river for six miles, 
they then recede somewhat leaving a narrow valley, after 


which they approach for a second time, recede again, and 
finally form a third promontory, which for one and one-third 
miles extends along the river. Opposite to the extremity of 
the second of these promontories are several islands which 
hide the mouth of the Tomi river. Further on the mountains 
recede, but still follow the course of the river, and bound a 
rich meadow-land. About forty miles below the Tomi, the 
summits along the right bank, and sometimes also the slopes, 
are wooded, but lower down the forest gradually disappears. 
The distance of the mountain from the river varies, and both 
mountain and plain yield good pasturage. The plain extend- 
ing along the left bank of the river is interrupted only by 
a few hills ; steep mountains are seen beyond. The soil is 
of loam, at some places covered with black mould fourteen 
inches thick. These fertile plains offer facilities for founding 
colonies, and introducing agriculture and cattle-rearing. 
The breadth of the Dzeya at the mouth of the Tomi is 
perhaps even more considerable than at the Silimji. The 
current, especially near the 'White Mountains/ is very 
slow, and sometimes we could scarcely tell which way the 
raft was floating. 

" On the 18th October we had come abreast the mouth of 
the Tomi. During the night we lost our last horse. Our 
Cossacks, who from their youth had been brought up with 
horses, attributed their death to eating grass which had 
been submerged for some time. On the following day we 
continued our journey on one raft, but still made little 
progress against the ice. The 20th October was our last 
day on the river. A violent wind arose in the morning, 
which at night increased to a storm. With difficulty we 
gained the left bank. During the whole night the storm con- 
tinued to rage with unabated violence ; flakes of ice became- 
more numerous. In the morning we found our raft enclosed 
by the ice, large pieces of which floated down the whole 
breadth of the river, which in some places was quite choked 

222 AIGUN. 

up. I remained on shore the whole of that day, in the vain 
hope that on the cessation of the wind we might be enabled 
to continue our voyage. Such however was not the case, 
nor had we any means of crossing over to the right bank. 
We had yet half a horse left, which might last three persons 
a week, and we therefore resolved to separate. "We hid our 
baggage in a ravine. Three* of my people remained here, 
and I started with the three others to seek a Manchu village. 
I ordered those left behind to wait for me during ten days, 
and in case I should not be able to send any assistance, they 
were to obliterate the traces of our encampment and to fol- 
low me. On the third day we came to the first Manchu 
village, forty miles from our camp on the Dzeya. Two 
Manchu conducted us to the house of meeting, where soon 
afterwards the whole village assembled. 

" My first care was to induce the Manchu to fetch the 
three men I had left behind, and I offered to remunerate 
them for horses and provisions. They discussed deep into 
the night as to what was to be done to us. On the following 
day they brought us thirty pounds of millet, and resolved to 
escort us onward to Sakhalin -ula-Khotun (Aigun), where we 
were to be placed at the disposal of the authorities. On the 
27th October, they brought us to the village situated opposite 
the town ; the whole of this journey had been made by 
night, and they always, under some pretence or other, 
managed to spend the day at a village. My entreaties 
for us to be sent to the Cossacks who wintered at TJst 
Zeisk were not noticed, and in the evening of the 28th, 
when the ice on the Amur was scarcely firm, they took us 
across the river, and brought us to the government building. 
In half an hour we were led to our examination. On 
entering the court of justice we found three officials and 
several writers there. One of the former, Guzaida or adjunct 
of the Amban, commenced the examination by asking our 
names, and the reason of our traversing territories which 


they considered their own. They next questioned us about 
my occupation and travels, etc., putting the same questions 
repeatedly with the view of confusing me. I did my best 
to answer concisely, avoiding long explanations, adding, 
that had I not met with ill-luck I should never have 
troubled them, but that, situated as I was, I relied upon 
their friendly feeling towards the Russians. The examina- 
tion concluded, I was presented to the Amban, who shewed 
himself very friendly, and without entering into further 
details ordered us to be taken to Ust Zeisk, and provisions 
to be sent to the three men I had left at the river. Half an 
hour afterwards we were conducted out of the town, and on 
the following day (29th October) I found myself among 
our Cossacks. The officer in command of the station imme- 
diately despatched fifteen Cossacks to convey relief to the 
men left on the Dzeya, but as the ice was not yet quite firm, 
they could not get to the left bank of the river. 

" On the 1st November the Manchu unexpectedly brought 
my baggage, instruments and the three men." 

Usultzof took advantage of a post which was just then 
being despatched to Nerchinsk, and without farther obstacle 
travelled up the Amur. On the 16th November he left Ust 
Zeisk, and on the 20th December he arrived at Ust Strelka. 




The Coast of Manchuria. 

Leaving the Amur Liman and following the cliffy coast of 
Manchuria southward, the first Bay we come to is that of 
Castries (51° 28' north, 140° 49' east), discovered by La 
Peyrouse on the 28th July 1787, and named by him after 
the Marquis de Castries, the Minister of Marine of France. 
As extreme limits of the bay, we may designate the bold 
Cape d'Assas and Elosterkamp peninsula, a rocky mountain 
mass separated from the land by a narrow isthmus but 
eighteen yards across. Upon the summit of this latter 
a lighthouse has been built, and a guard is sta- 
tioned there during the summer, which signals vessels 
approaching the bay. About half-way between these two 
extreme points is situated the Yostok sandbank, having but 
two feet of water during ebb. Within this sandbank a 
chain of four islands, extending from Cape Kornikof to the 
isthmus of Elosterkamp, separates the open sea from the 
inner bay. These are Basalt, Observatory, Oyster and 
South islands. Ships may enter on either side of Oyster 
Island, where there is a depth (at low water) of five to six 
fathoms ; or to the north of Observatory Island, where the 
depth is three fathoms. They will find safe anchorage 
behind the latter island, where they are sheltered against 
easterly winds, but are exposed in autumn to violent west- 
winds which sweep down' the ravines leading to the bay. 
Castries Bay is surrounded by mountains the loftiest of 


which is Mount Arbod, haying an elevation of 1500 feet. 
It serves as a land-mark to ships approaching Castries Bay. 
The mountains form bold cliffs towards the bay, consisting of 
trachytes and basalts, and about fifty feet in height. To- 
wards the land, the water gradually shoals, and at ebb por- 
tions of the bay lie dry. Such is the case with the whole of 
Salmon Bay, and the upper part of North Bay ; in Arbod 
Bay, to the south, the depth of water is only five feet. Of 
the numerous rivulets those entering the parts just named are 
the most important ; but Salmon River, the largest of all, is 
navigable for three miles only, and that in the tiniest of 
Gilyak canoes. The valley at its mouth is but one- third of a 
mile in width. Another rivulet near the former bay, the 
Nelly, is remarkable for its swift current, its pure water, and 
the fact of its never freezing. At its mouth has been erected 
the Alexandrovsk post, defended by several batteries. 
About a mile and a half inland, is the military colony of 
Castries, consisting of about sixty log-houses, a church and 
hospital, inhabited by about one hundred and fifty soldiers 
and their families. They cultivate a few vegetables, and 
barley, " it is belie ved," might be grown with advantage. 
In addition to their ordinary rations these men are served 
with oyster and fish soup, oysters and fish abounding in the 
bay. A harbour-master resides at the post, and attached to 
him is an interpreter speaking English, German and French, 
Pilots are stationed here to take ships to the Amur (Ni- 
kolayevsk). In 1858 it was proposed to carry out improve- 
ments on a large scale, to build a magnificent breakwater, 
dry docks and store-houses. The trifling commerce, how- 
ever, did not warrant so large an expenditure, and a light- 
house only has been built on Klostercamp. Nor has the 
railroad been built which was to connect Castries Bay to 
Sofyevak on the Amur, but communication between these 
places is kept up, as formerly, by a road (see p. 192). 

Castries Bay remains covered with ice from the middle of 



December to that of May, that is for five months. South- 
easterly winds blow almost uninterruptedly from April to 
September, and during that time dense fogs frequently con- 
tinue for days, and ships cruize off Klosterkamp without 
being able to enter the bay, though they hear the guns fired 
at intervals at the post. Westerly winds prevail during 
October, and that season is the best of the year. 

The coast south of Castries Bay continues abrupt, the 
mountains being partially wooded. After a sail of one 
hundred miles, we reach Destitution Bay (49° 46* north) to 
the north of a prominent head-land, where there is a safe 
anchorage. It has a shelving beach upon which there are a 
few scattered Orochi huts. On landing and crossing abroad 
bank we come to the margin of a large lake, surrounded by 
forests and animated by numerous water-fowl ; a wide river 
enters it. 

Resuming our journey southwards, we pass Gape Lesseps 
(49° 33' north), a bluff headland of columnar basalt capped 
by yellow sandstone. We have still cliffs along the coast, 
broken abruptly now and then where a small rivulet enters 
the sea. In the distance are seen the summits of the coast 
range covered with snow even in May and June. 

We next reach Port Imperial, Haji or Barracouta Bay 
(49° 2' north, 140° 19' east), a Fjord almost entirely sur- 
rounded by cliffs. The Haji river enters it, and at the 
mouth forms some alluvial islands. The bay is environed by 
dense forests of pines, Scotch firs, larches, yews and alders. 
The Russians founded a small settlement here in 1853 ; it 
was abandoned in consequence of the war, but has recently 
been re-occupied. This settlement, called Konstantinovak, 
consists of a few log-houses, supplied with water from a well, 
and defended by two batteries mounting eighteen guns. It 
was intended at one time to make this post the chief naval 
port on the coast of Manchuria, a project which has been 
given up in favour of Olga Bay, further south. 


We still proceed south along a rocky coast, interrupted at 
times by wide valleys extending far inland. The hills are 
wooded, and the summits of the coast-range appear in the 
distance. Three hundred and twenty miles south of Castries 
Bay is situated Suffren Bay (47° 20' north, 138° 58' east) 
discovered by La Perouse, an exposed anchorage offering but 
slight shelter. The water gradually shoals to the shingle 
beach, and a river thirty to forty yards wide enters the Bay. 
Oysters and some beautiful corals have been found here. 
South of Suffren Bay the character of the coast continues 
the same, but the cliffs are rather lower. The hill-sides are 
wooded with firs and birches ; but the summits are barren. 
It is not before we reach Ternay Bay (45° 13' north) that the 
vegetation assumes a more southern appearance. The coast 
of this Bay is divided into five almost equal portions, and 
fresh and limpid rivulets fall into the five creeks which form 
it. These creeks are separated by hills covered with verdure 
to their summits. Along the banks of the rivulets grow 
willows, birches, maples, apples, medlar-trees and hazelnuts ; 
higher up oaks, and on the summits pines. The Bay is 
evidently frequented by the Orochi. 

Hence, as we proceed south, the number of bays, some 
of them very superior, increases, and within a distance of 
three hundred miles there occur upwards of eight. The traces 
of Chinese settlements become apparent, and cattle may be 
seen grazing along the shore. Btdlock Bay (45° 2' N. 
136° 44' E.), extends between two headlands, and haa a sandy 
beach. A river enters here, and some hills separate the 
beach from a lake. Tronson found some forty head of cattle 
grazing near the shore. Ascending the river for a few miles 
he came to a Chinese village, the inhabitants of which cul- 
tivated dry rice, potatoes and onions. They offered tobacco 
leaves and some skins for sale, but were very reluctant to 
part with their cattle. South of Bullock Bay the country 
is very picturesque and diversified. The coast-line is less 


bold than further north, and exhibits headlands and banks 
of yellow clay and sand. Broad park-lands and gentle 
hillocks, with birch and oak scattered oyer them extend 
along the coast. Beyond these, appear wooded hills and 
winding valleys, and far off may be seen the high-peaked 
mountains of the coast-range. Eighteen miles beyond Bul- 
lock Bay 

Sybille Bay* (44° 44' N. 136° 22' E.) opens between two 
isolated pinnacled heights, consisting of rocks of crystalline 
structure, vitrified on the surface. There is a river here, 
and on the slopes of its valley grow oaks and hazel. The 
hills consist of clay and sand. Two miles to the north of 
Sybille Bay is Pique Bay (44° 46' N. 136° 27' E.), into 
which a river, with a sand-bar, empties itself. A short 
distance up this river stands a house, built like those in 
the north of China, and inhabited by Chinese, who cultivate 
potatoes, turnips, onions, beans and garlic. A village is 
said to be at a distance of eight miles, and a town at forty 
miles. Hence southward, as far as the boundaries of Korea, 
scattered houses and small villages of Chinese are found at 
a short distance from the sea. " The name of this region/' 
Kimai Kirn tells us, " is Ta-cho-su. It is a kind of freed 
land which was the former resort, and is the resort at the 
present time, of a crowd of Chinese and Korean vagabonds ; 
some impelled ])j the spirit of independence, others escaped 
from the punishment due to their misdeeds or from the 
pursuit of their creditors. Accustomed to robbery and crime, 
they have no principles to guide them, They have latterly 
however, it is said, chosen a chief to check their own dis- 
orders, and established some regular form of government. 
By a general agreement, they have decided that they would 

b La P6rouse saw a bay under 44° 45' N. lat. 

Kimai-Kim, a Korean convert to Christianity, visited in 1844 the 
frontier town of Hun-chun on business connected with the Roman 
Catholic missions. Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, 1846. 


bury alive every man guilty of murder ; the chief himself 
is bound by this law. As they have no women they carry 
them off wheresoever they find them." 

Eighteen miles further south, we come' to Shelter Bay 
(44° 28' N. 136° 2' E.), which is protected against the north- 
easterly winds by a prominent bluff. It opens between two 
prominent headlands, and its shore is level and tolerably 
wooded. A river two hundred yards wide flows into the 
bay, and is closed by a shallow bar, within which there are 
nine feet of water. Its banks are marshy and covered with 
reeds and sedges. Dwarf oaks, birches and elms are thinly 
scattered on the hill-slopes. Tronson ascended the river for 
two miles, when it got shallow, and was overhung with 
willows, birch and alder. Some cattle were grazing, but 
there were no habitations in sight. 

The coast to the south of Shelter Bay continues hilly, 
and there are several rivulets flowing through valleys 
affording excellent pasturage. Port St. Vladimir (43° 84' N. 
135° 27' E.) opens between the rocky promontories of 
Baliuska and Vatovsky, 1,870 yards apart, with a depth of 
water of ten fathoms at the entrance. The port is one of 
the finest on the coast of Manchuria. It' consists of three 
inlets of which the southern is the most capacious, and 
offers great advantages for refitting and arming vessels. A 
basin of fresh water, separated from the bay by a narrow 
strip of land, could, at a trifling cost, be converted into a 
first-rate dock. The surrounding mountains shelter the 
bay against all winds. Putiatin met here two Chinese and 
several Manchu; the former occupied in fishing, and the 
latter tending the horses and cattle of their masters, who 
reside further north. Both asserted their independence of 
the Chinese government. 

Scarcely twenty miles south-west of Port Vladimir we 
arrive at another bay, which offers equal if not superior 
advantages as a naval station. This port, Port Sir Michael 

230 OLGA BAY. 

Seymour (43° 46' N. 136° 19' R), the Olga Bay of the 
Russians, opens towards the south-east, and is protected by- 
high mountains against north-east and south-west winds. 
Abrupt rocks of granite rise on both sides of the entrance, 
and the mountains surrounding the bay itself consist of 
rough-grained granite and red porphyry of coarse crystalline 
structure. Gilbert or Awakum river empties itself into the 
bay. Haying crossed a bar of three feet of water, the depth 
of the river varies between fourteen and twenty feet for a 
distance of about five miles ; it then divides into numerous 
creeks. The lower part of the valley is marshy and turfy. 
High mountains form it, but excepting some abrupt and 
precipitous crags, there is not a spot void of vegetation. 
The Chinese who are settled along the river cultivate barley, 
wheat, hemp, potatoes and kitchen plants. A narrow strait 
separates the body of the bay from the Careening Harbour, 
called "Calm Landing-place " (Tikhaya Pristanye) by the 
Russians ; it has a depth of from three and a half to seven 
fathoms, and at its narrow entrance of four fathoms, and is 
well protected against winds and waves. A rivulet empties 
itself into this harbour, flowing through a fertile valley, from 
the direction of Vladimir Bay. The slopes of the mountains 
are wooded, and excellent timber for ship-building may be 
procured at some distance from the beach. A pass leads 
through the mountains north of Olga Bay to the Upper Usuri. 
The Russians have chosen this bay for their chief naval 
station on the coast of Manchuria ; and it is no doubt the 
one best adapted, though in common with all other bays 
along this coast it has the disadvantage of difficulty of com* 
munication with the the interior of the country, still in a 
less degree than any of the others, Castries Bay excepted. 
But the latter Bay is closed by ice during six months of the 
year, whilst Olga Bay is almost entirely free. 

The country south of Olga Bay continues hilly. It is 
densely wooded with oaks, and there are occasional firs. The 


coast is rocky, and in places forms precipitous cliffs. In 
the distance may be seen a granitic mountain-range. In 
many creeks are discernible the houses of Chinese settlers, 
and a few boats and canoes are drawn up on the shore. 
Passing the small Castle and Islet ports, Nakhimof harbour, 
and the more extensive Hornet Bay, we arrive at Victoria 
Bay, Gulf of Peter the Great, of the Russians. This bay 
looks towards the south, and is separated by the Albert 
Peninsula, and the Eugenie Archipelago, a continuation of 
it, into two Gulfs, those of Napoleon and Gufrin. Albert 
Peninsula is separated from the Eugenie Archipelago by the 
Hamelin Strait ; and upon the north side of this strait is 
situated Port May, Vladivostok, that is Dominion of the 
East, of the Russians. This port is well sheltered against all 
winds by the hills which surround it. The coast consists of 
clay-slate, heaved up by rocks of red porphyry, and the 
entire coast-line exhibits marks of volcanic action. The sur- 
rounding country is well wooded with oaks, elms, and walnut, 
and there are large tracts of fine grazing land abounding in 
various-coloured flowers. The vine grows luxuriantly, and 
we are led to suppose that the grapes are really edible, and 
not, as those of the Amur, merely innocuous. The islands of 
the Eugenie Archipelago, above twenty in number, vary 
much in size, the largest being about twenty square miles. 
They are hilly, covered with verdure, and thinly sprinkled 
with oaks and hazeL The oaks are of superior quality; 
pines are scarce, but very thick. Some of the islands afford 
capacious, and well-sheltered anchorages. The islands are 
inhabited by some " Tatars," probably Chinese and Koreans. 
Port Dundas, on the northernmost of these islands opens 
towards the north-west. The land at the entrance of the 
port is high and rocky, the rocks consisting of a red conglo- 
merate, boulders of granite, and further up the port, red 
porphyries. The distance from the entrance of the port to 
its termination is nearly seven miles. Port Bruce, at the 

232 HUN-CHUN. 

west side of Guerin Gulf, is encircled by a high range of hills 
of granitic structure. It affords a safe anchorage, but during 
south-east winds is exposed to a heavy swell. Proceeding 
south along the coast we arrive at D'Anville Gulf. Through 
a narrow strait we enter the inner part, consisting of Port 
Louis, and Napoleon or Posyet harbour. Gold has been 
found here in small quantities in the sands of the rivulets, 
and coal abounds. A few miles to the south of D'Anville 
Gulf, is the mouth of the Tumen River, or Mi-kiang 
(42° 27' north latitude), . the boundary between Korea and 
Manchuria. About twenty-five miles above the mouth of the 
river stands the town of Hun-chun (Hwan-chun-ching), 
besides Tung-Pu-en-men in the south, the only place of 
trade between Korea and China. d About a hundred Tatar 
families reside here, and a Mandarin of the second class, 
with about three hundred soldiers maintains order. The 
Chinese repair hither from a great distance to carry on 
trade, and the journey from Ningut is performed with clumsy 
waggons on two wheels. The general trade is restricted to 
half a day once every two years, and some Mandarins only 
enjoy the privilege to trade annually for five days. The 
Chinese supply the Koreans with dogs, cats, pipes, leather, 
stag-horn, copper, horses, mules, and asses, and receive in 
return baskets, kitchen furniture, rice, corn, swine, paper, 
mats, oxen, Airs, and ponies, the latter highly prized for their 
swiftness. Hun-chun is also famous for its trade in haishay, 
a marine weed found in the neighbouring sea. 

The Coast Range. 

The coast-range, Sihete-alin of the Chinese, may be consi- 
dered as an offshoot of the Shan-alin mountains in the 
south. The crest of the range varies in distance from twenty- 

* Kimai-Kim, Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, 1846. 


five to eighty miles from the coast. Its eastern slope drains 
into the Channel of Tatary and the Japan Sea, the western 
into the XJsuri and Amur. The rivers entering the sea have 
but a short course, and are navigable only near the mouth. 
These mountains attain an elevation of from four to six 
thousand feet, but where passes cross them they are much 
lower. They are intersected by deep and generally swampy 
valleys of numerous rivulets. Many offshoots from the coast- 
range abut upon the Usuri and Amur. The higher parts of the 
-mountains are densely wooded with conifers, foliferous trees 
being restricted to the valleys, and lower mountain slopes. The 
posses are frequented in winter by the natives in their 
trading journeys, but those in the south alone are of real 
importance, the others being too long and difficult. The 
road leading from the town of Hun-chun to Ninguta can 
now even be used by carriages. Another way leads from 
the same town to the Hinka Lake, which can only be 
reached by a path from Guerin Gulf, traversed on horse- 
back. The Upper XJsuri is reached from Olga Bay by a 
pass, rather difficult in its present state, but along which a 
road will no doubt be carried in a very short time, as the 
Russians have established themselves in this Bay, and the 
only communication with the interior leads through this 
pass. Yeniukof crossed the mountains near the sources of 
the Fudza rivulet, a tributary of the Usuri. Among the 
passes further north that between the Yai, which flows into 
the Kidzi Lake, and the Tumji river, which enters the sea 
some miles north of Port Imperial, is the most important. 
Its elevation is only six hundred feet. 

The Usuri. 

The Usuri is, next to the Sungari, the most considerable 
tributary which the Amur receives from the south. Its 
sources are in 44° north latitude, and the development of the 


river, from its origin to the mouth, is four hundred and 
ninety-seven miles. The Upper Usuri (Sandugu) has a 
very rapid course, and is hemmed in by mountains on both 
banks. Below the mouth of the Yongo, the mountains dis- 
appear on the left, and near the Sungachan also on the right, 
and the river then flows through a wide plain, until it again 
enters the mountains, and having traversed them for about 
one hundred miles, debouches into the vast prairie, partly 
swampy, and similar in character to that of the Amur. 
Among the numerous tributaries of the Usuri, the Dobikhan 
is remarkable on account of gold being found along its 
course, but the Sungachan which flows from Khingka 
(Kenka) Lake is the most considerable. This lake extends 
between 44° 36' and 45° north latitude ; it is about sixty 
miles long and forty wide. The north-east and north-west 
shores of the lake are level, and swampy tracts extend at the 
mouth of the rivulets which enter it, and of which the Lefu 
is the largest. The lake abounds in fish, and the neighbour- 
ing mountains are rich in game. About ten villages are 
dispersed along the shore, and among the inhabitants are 
five Goldi families, the southernmost representatives of this 
tribe. A sandy strip of low land separates Khingka Lake 
from the smaller Dabuka Lake, lying within the same basin. 
Roads lead hence to Ninguta, Hun-chun, and a town (Furden) 
on the Suifong, which enters Gu£rin Gulf. At the com- 
mencement of last year the Russians had twenty-four 
stations along the Usuri. 

The Usuri was explored in 1858, by M. Veniukof, previous 
to its occupation by the Russians, and we introduce here the 
narrative of that traveller. 

Veniukof's Exploration of the Usuri. 

" The desire to explore the river Usuri to its source was 
expressed at a time, when, though we had gained a firm 
footing on the Amur itself, we had not yet gained the con- 

venitjkof's journey. 235 

sent of the Chinese to advance without let or hindrance into 
a district which they chose to consider their own. It 
was to be expected, therefore, that the suspicious Chinese 
and Manchu officials would throw difficulties in the way 
of an expedition, and try to prevent its reaching its 
bourn. 6 Even now some obstacles had to be removed ; but 
the treaty of Aigun greatly facilitated my operations, for in 
it the right to navigate the whole of the Usuri had been 
granted to us, and if necessary we could treat the Chinese 
with firmness. 

" In order still more to further my proceedings, a special 
letter, written in Manchu, was given me by order of the 
Governor-General of Eastern Siberia. In it was set forth my 
official position, and the Chinese authorities were requested 
to afford me all the co-operation and assistance in their 
power. This letter I was obliged to produce but once, at the 
mouth of the Nishan. At all other places our approach was 
well known, for the officer commanding the guard at the 
mouth of the Usuri, had reported along the whole line our 
intention of ascending it. According to custom the Manchu 
took measures to prevent any one from rendering us assist- 
ance or accompanying us. Fortunately, owing to the good 
name Russia enjoys in Eastern Asia and possibly also to our 
own courteous behaviour, the natives, but particularly the 
Goldi, received us at all times in the most friendly manner. 
On my return-journey from the sea-coast, I could convince 
myself of the fact, that the Goldi were rejoiced that Russians 
at length had made their appearance on the Usuri ; Russians, 
who govern their subjects of another nationality without 
oppressing them, and who were long expected to free them 
from the yoke of the Manchu. 

" The expedition entrusted to my guidance was not very 
numerous. It included an officer in command of twelve 

e M. Veniukof refers here to the time previous to the treaty of 

236 veniukof's journey. 

Cossacks, an interpreter able to speak Goldi, and my own 
personal attendants, sixteen in all. Two topographers then 
staying in the Maritime Province were to accompany me, 
but the orders sent them from Irkutsk to join me arrived 
too late. Consequently all the labour devolved upon me. 
As I did not want my map to deceive those who subsequently 
might avail themselves of it, I did not like to trust to an 
estimate of distances by eyesight, but walked the whole 
distance to the mouth of the Lifule, along the bank of the 
river, counting the paces. This of course retarded our 
progress considerably. The road led through high dense 
grass and swamps, across large stones, or through thick forest, 
and so overtired me that generally, after having entered my 
remarks in the journal, I fell asleep on the spot. One of 
the chief objects of the mission, viz., the collection of the 
principal products, and a description of the country further 
from the river, and of the inhabitants, I could not possibly 
manage by myself. As I desired to ascertain occasionally 
the accuracy of the map of the Jesuits published by D'Anville, 
I once entrusted one of my companions with the task of 
ascending a tributary river. In order to supply to some 
extent the want of astronomical instruments, I carefully laid 
down my route from day to day on a Mercator's projection, 
and am led to believe from it, that the old statements of the 
Jesuits are very near the truth, and that D'Anville's map 
(of Manchuria) may be looked upon as the most correct of 
all hitherto published. 

Early on the 13th June we left the post at the mouth of the 
Usuri. Rapidly we passed the Khoekhtsi range (Khukhchir- 
Khurgin) on the right bank of the river. This range, it 
would appear, is a ramification of a mountain-chain which 
extends eastward from the mouth of the Usuri, and separates 
the tributaries of the Amur (Dondon) from those of the 
Usuri (Ky) and the coast rivers (Fish river). These rivers 
probably rise where this chain joins the coast-range known 


as Sikhota-Alin. The mountain-ridges everywhere are 
Bteep and covered with forest, where we find elm, walnut, 
oak, black and white birch, aspen, ash and bird-cherry, 
and a few cedars. There are neither pines nor firs. Vines 
and jessamines are found on a few spots, and on the southern 
fringe of the forest surrounding the Khoekhtsi, apples and 
even bergamot pears, the vegetation in fact reminding one 
of the most favoured parts of Central Europe. Beyond the 
Khoekhtsi Mountains both banks of the XTsuri are formed 
by an uniform grass-plain, with a few groves of oaks, elms, 
aspens and willows. For a distance of almost fifty miles, 
following the course of the river, the banks are inundated 
in July, and are therefore little adapted for settlement. To 
compensate for this the lakes and swamps abound in game. 
In the lakes are also found fresh- water turtles, which are eaten 
by the Goldi of the vicinity. A great many of the eggs of 
these turtles, which they bury in the sand at the margin of 
the lakes, are destroyed by birds of prey. The abundance 
of fish in the shallow places of the TJsuri is really wonderful. 
At times, when we passed unruffled and shallow parts of the 
river, numerous carp, gamboling on the surface of the 
water, would sometimes jump into our boats. Fish con- 
stitutes the chief article of food among the neighbouring 
Goldi. They do not however make much clothing from 
fish-skins, but use coarse cotton-stuffs. The name of Yu- 
pi-da-tzi, i.e. "Fish-skin Strangers," given to them by the 
Chinese, has therefore but little significance. 

" On the second day of our journey it began to rain, and this 
rain continued for forty-five consecutive days. These rains, 
which owe their origin to the neighbouring sea, constitute a 
peculiarity in the climate of the valley of the TJsuri. They 
cause that river and some of its tributaries to have a super- 
abundance of water. To me this copious fall of rain was 
very inconvenient ; it greatly interfered with our labours, 
and necessitated the seeking of our night's quarters early, so 


as to have time to dry our clothes before retiring to rest. 
The banks of the river are occasionally sandy, but for the 
most part covered with clay-mud, and walking along them 
was rather a difficult task. The rains caused the grass along 
the river, which until now had been soft, to get tough. As 
these rains occur every summer about the same period, 
future settlers will have to mow the grass first in May, and 
afterwards in September. The river forms here numerous 
branches, enclosing islands. The rivulet Ky enters the 
TJ8uri from the right, twenty-two miles above its mouth. 
Near its mouth stood yet in 1855 the village of Kinda, 
indicated on the map of Maximowicz ; it has since been 
burned down, and the Goldi removed to the left bank of the 
Usuri, and call their two poor huts the village of Khungari. 
During the first two days of our journey we found only 
three villages, viz., Turme, Jacha (Joada), and Khungari, 
having in all but eight houses. One or two Chinese families 
have joined the native Goldi. 

" In the evening of the third day we came to the mouth of 
the Khoro or Kholo, erroneously called Por on former maps. 
This river rises in high mountains at a distance of two hun- 
dred and fifty miles, has a very rapid course, and on entering 
the plain divides into several branches ; it carries along with 
it large masses of stones, and trunks of trees, in an immense 
volume of water, and enters the Usuri by five mouths, the two 
northern of which are particularly rapid. The temperature 
of this current was (in June) three degrees (Reaumur) less than 
that of the Usuri. As we approached the Khoro we could 
see localities on its right bank well adapted for settlements, 
and partially occupied by Chinese and Goldi. The village of 
Khoicha, forty miles above the mouth of the Usuri, extends 
along both banks of the river for four miles, but the whole 
village only contains nine houses, dispersed in the forest. At 
the time of our visit, half of the inhabitants were absent. 
We availed ourselves of this opportunity to visit one of the 


houses, the doors of which were not locked. The household 
furniture consisted of a few vessels of wood and clay, some 
fishing implements, and a large cauldron fixed on the hearth. 
In a store-house, built on poles to preserve it against the 
rats, we saw a swan hanging, and found traces of peltry. A 
small temple which stood apart, attracted my especial 
attention. On a wall inside was a very bad painting 
of a deity, probably by some Chinese artist. A small box, 
into which incense is put from time to time, stood in front 
of this temple. To me this discovery was very interesting ; 
for at the time of the Jesuits not the least trace of public 
worship existed among the " Yu-pi-da-tzi." The bonzes 
found nothing to attract them to a country where neither 
wheat nor rice was being cultivated. But in spite of this 
the gods of China have found their way to these regions. 

" On the 16th of June, we met at the mouth of the river 
Sim a young Orochi, from the Khoro, who had also been 
on the sea, among a family of Goldi. He told us that in a 
canoe made of the trunk of a tree we could ascend the Khoro 
to its source, which lay in the midst of high mountains, 
whence the sea might be reached on foot in four days. From 
the Goldi we heard that the Khoro in its upper course 
receives a tributary, the Chernai, whence there is a portage to 
the Samalga, a considerable river flowing into the sea. Maxi- 
mowicz ascertained that there was a path from the sources 
of the Khoro to a rivulet falling into the Amur, and called 
Pakhsa f (called Peksha by Admiral Nevilsky). The Chinese 
who go from the Usuri to the Amur to buy sables take this 
road, from which we may calculate upon the region being 
populated (P). 

" On the following day, 17th June, heavy rains in the 
morning made it necessary to make a halt about noon, in 

' The Pakhsa enters the Amur at the village of Khula, a few miles 
above the Dondon or Sole. 


order to take measures against our provisions being soaked. 
On this occasion, I for the first time got an insight into the 
relations between Goldi and Manchu. The Goldi fishermen 
near whose tent we landed were very much frightened when 
they saw us. At first they were inclined to run away, but 
finally thought it best to submit to the" decrees of Providence, 
and to the arbitrary conduct of the Manchu, for such at 
first they took us to be. They were greatly surprised when 
in return for a large fish which they brought us, we presented 
them with two or three yards oiDaba. A woman, who until now 
had remained in concealment with her boy, three years old, 
came forth and celebrated our generosity in a song. A 
great many children, shy as they usually are, surrounded 
us without fear. Among these poor people, I observed a 
man whose face and figure differed considerably from the 
usual type of the Goldi and the Tunguzians in general. 
He was muscular and rather corpulent, and his long beard 
and mustaches gave him the appearance of a Russian peasant 
in a foreign dress. His eyes were round and large, but the 
large space between them indicated Mongolian race. Possibly 
exceptions of this kind may have existed among the Goldi 
when our Cossacks first came to the Amur. The Goldi (of 
the TJsuri) has however no very clear idea of the history of 
his tribe. He has heard that there are Russians who have 
come to settle on the Amur, but is afraid to ascertain for 
himself for fear of the Manchu. When he pays his ordinary 
tribute to the Manchu official at Turme, — and this consists of 
all the sables he may be possessed of, — he returns, and in 
conjunction with some family related to his own, sets to work 
to secure the necessary food and clothing for the winter. He 
goes to the forests to hunt, and returns before the inundation, 
so as to have time to dry a sufficient supply of fish to last 
through the winter. On the occasion of our visit a great 
number of fish already hung around the birch-bark tents, 
and all were engaged in its preparation. 


" On the 18th of June, after the usual fogs, the weather was 
fine and not very hot; but about three in the afternoon 
clouds gathered on the horizon, the rain descended in 
streams, and the lightning flashed. This was the second 
thunder-storm since our departure from the mouth of the 
Usuri. The rain soon left off, but the heavens continued 
clouded, and the violent easterly wind gave little hope for 
improvement. About noon we claimed the hospitality of a 
Chinese, who had been informed of our approach by the 
Goldi whom we met the day before. He received us very 
frigidly, and to all our questions answered l No. f Once 
indeed he relaxed from his silence, and that only to deceive 
us, by telling us we should reach the sources of the Usuri 
in ten days. He forbade his servant, a Goldi, to hold com- 
munication with us. We told the Chinese that we knew as 
well as he could tell us what awaited us, and that respectable 
people treated travellers in a less off-hand manner. On 
this he grew more polite and offered us salad ; we would 
not however accept of anything. The Goldi labourer ran 
after us and told us that the same kind of reception awaited 
us everywhere by order of the Manchu authorities, and that 
we should do well to rely solely upon people of his own 

" On the same day, the 18th June, we came to the mouth of 
the Aom, which has a course of one hundred and twenty 
miles. Along the right bank of the Usuri an uninterrupted 
mountain-chain was visible, which occasionally came close 
to the river. I found here several pieces of petrified wood, 
the fibres of which were so distinct that it resembled rather 
a piece of wood just broken off a tree than a fossil. The 
view on the right bank of the Usuri changed from this day. 
On the horizon, we constantly kept in sight the rugged sum- 
mits of a mountain-chain. On the left bank the plain 
continued, but in the distance blue hills made their appear- 
ance. Localities suitable for settlement are much more 


frequent here on the eastern bank of the river. Meadows 
and small groves alternate with forests of oak, birch, elm . 
and service-trees. Fine lilies, orange-coloured and yellow, 
were in full bloom, apple-trees and roses the same. Not- 
withstanding the rain, we advanced on that day twenty-six 
miles, and encamped during the night in face of the hills 
near the mouth of the Nor. 

" The two following days, 19th and 20th June, we spent in 
crossing the mouth of the Nor, and succeeded in getting 
friendly with the Goldi who live there. At first they were 
suspicious and reticent, but a small glass of brandy soon set 
loose their tongues, and they kept wagging them incessantly. 
They told me that a town stood near the sources of the Nor, 
which they knew only as " Khoton." The Sungari thence 
may be reached in three days. The population along the Nor 
consists mostly of Chinese, and foot-paths connect their 
houses. Notwithstanding the pains I took, the Goldi 
refused to communicate to me any detail about the town, 
excepting that it was the seat of the authorities upon whom 
they depended, that is probably the station of a small 
flotilla, with a few warehouses. At all events, this town is 
not large. According to my informants, the ascent of the 
Nor in a canoe requires about twenty days, and the distance 
therefore is about three hundred miles. An inconsiderable 
mountain separates its source from that of the Voken, which 
flows into the Sungari. 

"About noon on the 21st we crossed the Abuera, which 
has a course of several hundred miles, but can be forded at its 
mouth. The water was cold and turbid, but this may have 
been in consequence of the rain. A short distance above 
the Sibku rivulet we came to the village bearing the same 
name, the largest of all we had as yet seen, for it consisted 
of seven houses, two inhabited by Chinese, the others by 
Goldi. The Goldi here have neat vegetable gardens, and 
even cultivate barley. Above the Sibku, the mountains on 


the right bank of the Usuri approach close to the river. They 
occasionally afford a glimpse into valleys about two miles 
wide, and eminently fit for settlements. About the mouth 
of the Bikin these mountains attain their maximum height. 
At the time of our visit the summits were enveloped in fog, 
which in the morning sinks into the valley. The river 
Bikin enters the Usuri one hundred and eighty miles above 
the mouth of that river, and in an undivided stream flows 
through a valley about two miles wide. It appears to be 
navigable and much less rapid than the Xhoro. According 
to the * Chinese geography ' it has a length of five hundred 
Li. A road leads from its source over the mountains in five 
days to the sea, and terminates in a small bay where there 
is a village. Along the banks of the Bikin are six villages 
inhabited by Orochi. Chinese are not met with here. 

Above the Bikin the Usuri flows through a valley bounded 
on both sides by picturesque mountains. Here splendid 
sites for settlements are met with, for instance at the mouth 
of the Khankuli rivulet, five miles above the Bikin, at the 
village of Naize and elsewhere. At the rivulet Tsifaku, 
which has a very broad mouth, the mountains on the right 
bank of the Usuri recede towards the east, and that rivulet 
flows along a very extensive plain mostly well timbered. 
Between the Bikin and Tsifaku just mentioned, the rivers 
Duman and Kirkin, each about one hundred miles long, 
enter the Usuri from the left. They flow through narrow 
valleys where Ginseng (Shen-shen) is found, which has 
attracted some Chinese settlers. The houses of these 
Chinese are connected by paths, which also lead to the 
western slope of the mountain-chain where the rivers rise 
which flow to the Sungari. 

" On the 27th June we were overtaken by some Goldi, 
twelve miles above the Tsifaku, who were going in their 
birch-bark canoes from the mouth of the Usuri to the Imma. 
They had left Turme three days after us, and were the only 



people during the whole of our journey who brought us 
news from the Russians. According to their own statement 
they were on a visit to some relatives on the Imma, but it 
almost appeared as if they had instructions from the Chinese 
official at Turme regarding ourselves. At all events we 
saw them subsequently in company of the Chinese at the 
Imma. They asked whether the Governor-General intended 
himself to explore the TJsuri, and whether the Russians were 
coming in the ensuing year to settle along it. When they 
were told such would not be the case, they communicated 
our answer to the Manchu official commanding at the 

" At our night's quarters between the Bikin and Nishan we 
had plenty of leisure to observe the customs of the Goldi 
whom we met there. One of them having seen silver in 
our possession proposed to exchange it for sable ; and when 
I asked what he was going to do with the metal, he told 
me that his old mother was near her death, and that he 
wished according to custom to place a silver bracelet round 
her wrist on her death-bed. Another Goldi had his tail 
cut off as a sign of mourning for a deceased mother. The 
Goldi are addicted to polygamy, and in many instances 
from a feeling of duty. One man of thirty, with a very 
large family, had three wives, two of whom had become his 
by the death of his younger brothers. He thought it 
incumbent upon himself fairly to distribute his favours 
amongst all, and the eldest of them, as it were the mother 
of the family, exacted obedience from the two others. like 
all other nations amongst whom polygamy is in vogue, the 
Goldi are very jealous. It was only by special favour that 
our host permitted me and the interpreter to remain in the 
tent during his absence. Our people he kept as far away 
as possible. On our departure he expressed himself in flat- 
tering terms about the good conduct of the Russians. The 
Manchu act differently. 

THE IMMA. 245 

" In the course of a fortnight, from the 13th to 27th June, 
we had but one day without rain.* The river was evidently 
rising, and on arriving at the Imma we found that many of 
the sandbanks were covered with water. Owing to the 
flood, fishing had been given up in the middle of June, and 
the Goldi were content with catching a few carp for their 
own use, and they had no fish for sale. To us this was very 
disagreeable, for we had now to live almost entirely upon 
salt provisions. Fortunately we were all of us well, ex- 
cepting some slight head-aches and derangements of the 
digestive organs. 

" On the 29th we crossed the mouth of the Imma, the 
largest tributary of the Usuri on the right. The current of 
the latter was all the time very slow, and it is only above 
the Imma that it becomes more rapid. The whole extent of 
the river, from the Imma to its mouth, is however very well 
adapted for navigation, and would not present any obstacle 
to steam-boats. Its navigation is much easier than that of 
the Middle Amur, for there are neither so many branches 
nor sand-bars. The Imma also is probably navigable to a 
great extent, if we may judge from the level country near its 
mouth. It has been hitherto navigated only by the small 
canoes of the Orochi, Goldi and Chinese. According to 
the Chinese Geography the Niman or Imma, under which 
name it is better known to the natives, has a course of three 
hundred miles, and is formed by the junction of the two 
streams, the Imma Proper and the Akul. According to the 
statements of the natives the sea may be reached from the 
sources of the Imma in five days ; the mountains are very 
high and the journey fatiguing. The Chinese do not 
therefore often avail themselves of this communication. 
Their settlements are situated near the mouth of the river, 
the upper part of which is inhabited by Orochi. The Goldi 

' This is opposed to Veniukof s previous observation of forty-five 
consecutive days of rain. 

246 THE IMMA. 

told me these latter had five or six villages, but did not know 
the number of inhabitants. Probably these villages are not 
larger than those of the Goldi, and contain two or three 
houses each. This would be a very small population for so 
extensive a region. The country on the Usuri, above and 
below the mouth of the Imma, is perfectly level, except 
towards the north, where may be seen a rather high 
mountain-chain stretching east and west, but does not reach 
the Usuri. According to the natives the sources of the 
Imma and Akul are separated by lofty mountains, and in 
the upper course these rivers flow rapidly between high 
banks. The water in them rises about the same period as 
that of the Usuri, and on our return we found the waters of 
both inundating the shores and flooding a sandbank or spit, 
at their confluence. The water of the Imma was dark, and 
could be distinguished for three miles flowing side by side 
with the turbid waters of the Usuri. The Imma certainly 
deserves the particular attention of any future explorer, and 
near its mouth must arise one of the chief settlements on the 

" Opposite the mouth of the Imma, on a prominent point of 
some hills consisting of red marl, forming cliffs towards the 
river, is situated the Chinese village of Imma or Niman. 
This lias been made a Manchu post. The lower part of 
the village where we stayed — not yet being aware of the 
existence of the upper — consists of a large house inhabited 
by a great number of Chinese, who cultivate extensive 
kitchen-gardens and corn-fields in the neighbourhood. Our 
wealthy landlord keeps a kind of hotel or restaurant, and we 
found there a great many Chinese and Goldi, either as guests 
or labourers. The arrangement of the rooms reminds one of 
the hotels of inferior class at Peking, with which one of my 
companions was acquainted. Small plantations of ginseng 
are found here ; they might probably be greater were it not 
for the vicinity of the Manchu authorities. At the Manchu 


post, half a mile higher up, on the banks of the Usuri, I 
thought it expedient to produce my papers. I made no stay- 
in the village, but observed many horses and oxen of a very 
excellent breed. These latter, according to Chinese custom, 
are used exclusively for agricultural purposes and for 
carrying heavy weights. The horses are of special advantage 
in communicating with other posts in Manchuria. A road 
leads hence to the Muren, whence the chief bridle-path leads 
to Sansin on the Sungari. This no doubt is the road taken 
by the Roman-Catholic Missionaries de la Bruni&re and 

" Low hills consisting of a loose reddish earth occur on the 
Usuri above the Imma. They are not offshoots from the 
mountains, but form the edge of a plateau densely wooded, 
and well adapted for cultivation. This plateau, called 
Dotzili-oforo in the Chinese Geography occasionally ap- 
proaches close to the river, and then again recedes a few 
miles. For about a day's journey beyond the Imma, sites 
adapted for settlement may be frequently noticed. At 
twenty-five miles above Imma the Usuri receives the northern 
branch of the river Muren, the most considerable of its 
tributaries, and the sources of which are in the mountains 
east of Ninguta. At its mouth it forms a delta, having an 
area of two hundred square miles. The deltoio branches 
radiate about forty miles from the Usuri, and none of them 
separately has a volume of water equal to that of the Imma. 
The northern arm has a breadth of only fifty to sixty 

" The Usuri between the Muren and Sungachan has a 
more rapid current, its course is very tortuous, and whilst 
the direct distance between the upper mouth of the Muren 
and Sungachan is fifteen miles, it is thirty-six following the 
windings of the river. But though the Usuri is not very 
wide here, it carries a large body of water, and flowing in 
one bed, offers no obstacles to navigation. The formation 


of small inlets or creeks is peculiar to this part of the river, 
and into these is drained, after each inundation, the water 
from the plains. There is scarcely a reach without such an 
inlet or bay, and the water remains in them during summer. 
The Goldi reap in these bays their richest harvest of fish. 
The average breadth of the Usuri is here two hundred and 
thirty yards, and at times only one hundred and sixty, 
but the depth of the water-way at low water is seven to nine 

"Since leaving Imma, we had been accompanied by four 
Chinese, with a Manchu soldier at their head. These formed 
our escort by order of the officer commanding at Imma, 
and acted as spies upon our doings. They were very 
polite, but always preceded us and forbade the Goldi to 
accompany us, as I was at that time looking out for a guide. 
They succeeded very well in foiling my endeavours, and I 
only found one man not altogether disinclined to serve us as 
guide. He was an old man from the village Ghoborka to 
whom life had become indifferent. * The Manchu/ he said, 
'interdict us from rendering you assistance, and any one 
acting contrary to their orders would of course fore badly. 
But I am so old that I should be quite willing to accompany 
you or to die, had I not a pain in my left leg. I know you 
are the heralds of other Russians, who will come to free us 
from the Manchu yoke, but as long as these wild beasts 
remain here, it is dangerous to be your friend. 1 I subse- 
quently ascertained that the fears of this old man were by no 
means exaggerated. On approaching the tent of a Goldi, 
dwelling above the Sungachan he trembled for fear, thinking 
we were Manchu ; but when I asked him a few questions 
and tendered payment for some millet, he told us he had 
cause to fear the Manchu. His father, his mother and his 
two brothers, driven to desperation by the Manchu collector 
of tribute, had strangled themselves. These collectors come 
once or twice annually, and by aid of the stick extort all the 


sables these poor people may be possessed of. Not putting 
trust in any of their assertions, they continue the beating 
after all the furs have been given up to them, in the hope of 
getting at concealed treasures. Afterwards, on my return, 
I heard that five Manchu had ascended the Usuri, and called 
the Goldi to an account for communicating with us. A 
sincere old Goldi here said to me, ' Look ! five men were 
able to beat above a hundred, and they wanted us — for our 
own sakes of course — to go to Khoekteir/ at the Usuri mouth, 
where the Manchu had a station. 

" On the 4th July in the evening we reached the mouth 
of the Sungachan, a river flowing from Lake Kingka (called 
Sinkai by the Chinese from the northern provinces, and 
Kenka by the Goldi). Our progress became slower and 
slower. The Usuri, though passing through a level country, 
has here a very strong current. I had expected to find the 
Usuri beyond the Sungachan, reduced to half its former size, 
but was very much mistaken. Above the Sungachan the 
current is stronger, and the windings of the river are even 
more numerous than before." 

[Yeniukof gives here some details regarding the Eingka 
Lake, which we have incorporated into our description of 

" At length, on [the 7th July we succeeded in persuading 
a Goldi to be our guide to the Kuburkhan. We might for 
the present have dispensed with his services, but I thought 
it advisable to avail myself of this opportunity to gain so 
far the confidence of the Goldi, that they might not fear at 
any future time to communicate with us. The absence of 
our Chinese spies facilitated this, and conducted by our 
Goldi we reached the Kuburkhan in two days. The stream 
was excessively rapid. 

" The country between the Sungachan and Kuburkhan is 
in most cases well adapted for settlements. Low hills are 
scattered over the plain, and in the neighbourhood of the 


Kuburkhan high, hills approach close to the banks of the 
Usuri. They are wooded with oak, and would well repay 
gardening and agriculture. In the forests, vines and walnuts 
abound. Conifers have not as yet been met with. Up to 
this point the following may be observed regarding the 
vegetation along the Usuri. Below the Imma, the oak 
prevails on the mountains. Where the plains are wooded 
many aspens, elms, walnuts, black and white birches, ashes, 
maples, and occasionally lime-trees, are met with. In young 
forests we find vines, roses, and a great many lilies. In the 
grassland there is much worm- wood ; and the pulse, which 
grows here, renders it almost impossible to walk through the 
grass, which is five feet high. Then the field-pink-clover, 
marsh-ranunculus also thrive here. The meadows upon the 
whole have much resemblance to those about the Sungari, 
but the forests differ from those of the Amur. The elms 
attain here a height of one hundred feet, with a girth of ten. 
The walnuts and limes are also of extraordinary height, but 
unfortunately the former but seldom bear fruit, and it may 
be the whole growing power is absorbed by the trunk and 
leaves. This is however not a solitary case. Humboldt says 
' it is remarkable that some plants, though otherwise of large 
growth, do not flower in certain localities. Such is the case 
for instance with the European olive, cultivated since cen- 
turies near Quito, on the Equator, at an elevation of 9000 
feet; the walnut, the hazelnut, and the olive of the 
Mauritius.' This may possibly be accounted for by the moist 
climate and cold nights. 

" After two days, about noon on the 10th July, we reached 
the mouth of a small rivulet remarkable for its dark-brown 
waters. It is identical, probably, with the Carina of 
D'Anville's map, but known to the natives as the little 

" It enters the Usuri through a deep transverse valley, and 
at its mouth is a splendid site for a settlement, the best of all 


that I have seen on the Usuri. The heights, which are at a 
distance of about three or four miles from the right bank of 
the Usuri are wooded ; foliferous trees prevail, but now and 
then may be seen a cedar or a pine. The current of the 
river keeps increasing, and its depth in many places in May 
and to the middle of June is two or three feet only. At the 
time however when we navigated the river the depth of the 
water-way was ten feet. This portion of the Usuri, • from 
Sungachan to the Nintu is very thinly populated. To all 
appearance this tract forms a boundary of the actual territory 
of the Manchu, for beyond, towards the east, we find Chinese 
almost independent of them. 

" On the 11th July, we passed a remarkable rock of little 
elevation, rising on an island in the middle of the river. 
The river here flows through a forest, and a great many 
trunks of trees, carried down by the current, have been 
washed ashore, and often impede navigation. Frequently 
we were compelled to push on our boats with poles or to land 
and tow it, for owing to the rapid current, it might, through 
the least carelessness, have been shattered against some of 
these trees. 

"On the 13th July, we came to the mouth of the 
great Situkhu, the Kurume of D'Anville's map. Here 
a small Chinese village has been built, in a fine open spot, 
the inhabitants of which engage in agriculture and provide 
the Ginseng seekers, of whom there are many in the neigh- 
bouring mountains, with millet. They refused however to 
sell any millet to us, though they had plenty, pleading 
ignorance of the Goldi language. Our guide knew Chinese, 
and they apparently upbraided him for accompanying us. 

" On the 14th July, we crossed the forty-fifth degree of 
latitude, and reached the mouth of the Dobikhu (Khue-bir), 
where we found a guide who proved very useful by his good- 
will and knowledge of the country. To us this day was 
trebly fortunate : we had got within a degree of latitude from 


the goal of our journey, found a competent guide, and 
escaped the espionage of the Manchu officials, who do not 
often make their appearance so high up the Usuri. The 
Goldi agreed to accompany us to the mouth of the Nintu, 
where he promised to get one of his relatives, an Orochi, to 
go on with us. This promise he kept. To my surprise I 
heard that the Chinese dig gold in the mountains on the 
Upper Dobikhu, which they take for sale to China and Korea 
without much minding the authorities at the neighbouring 
town of Hun-chun. My surprise was very reasonable, for 
the jealousy with which the government at Peking watch 
over the exploration of precious metals even in China itself 
is well-known. But in Manchuria mining operations are 
interdicted altogether, for ' it would be indecorous to disturb 
the earth upon which were born the celebrated ancestors of 
the reigning dynasty/ My informant was not able to 
explain satisfactorily the manner in which the Chinese 
procure the gold, excepting that they find it in the river 
itself and not in mines. 

" Advancing from the Dobikhu towards the south-east, 
we came through a country bearing traces of a past civiliza- 
tion and a previous numerous population. I allude to some 
remains of ancient towns and fortresses, which are found 
along the Usuri between 44° and 45° north latitude. These 
ruins probably date from the time of the dynasty of the Gin, 
or Niuchi. It would be difficult to say against whom these 
earthen walls, which are situated on the summits of high 
mountains or in the plain, served as a protection. But they 
were no doubt regular fortresses communicating with each 
other. Perhaps they were erected as bulwarks against the 
Mengu (Moho) of the Amur, the Manguns of our days, with 
whom the Gin were frequently at war. There is no doubt 
that these walls surrounded large towns, and the natives of 
the present day simply call them ancient Manchu towns 
(Manchu-Ballapti-Ehoton) . 


" On the 17th July we came to the mouth of the Vongo ; 
the Usuri here flows between mountains. We found a Gin- 
seng plantation, and inquired into the cultivation of this 
plant. The settlement numbers twenty hands, all of them 
Chinese, and belongs to a rich merchant who lives at Peking. 
Considering the value of this plant in China, the proprietor 
of these few acres must draw from them an immense revenue. 
More than thirty beds, each about thirty-five yards long, and 
four feet wide, are planted in rows with this expensive root. 
The berries were not yet ripe, but had begun to get red. The 
beds are protected against the sun by tents or by sheds of 
wood. The earth must be a rich black mould and loose. 
When the plant has attained a height of four or five inches 
it is supported by a stick. The beds are carefully weeded 
and watered. The plantation is surrounded by a hedge and 
carefully guarded. The guard is strictly forbidden to sell 
any root, and our endeavours to purchase one were in vain. 

"He probably feared the other labourers might betray 
him to the proprietors, but when we left he invited us to pay 
him a visit on our return, and gave us to understand that 
then he might possibly gratify our wish. I heard that there 
were many such plantations in the neighbourhood, and was 
anxious to know where, and at what prices the root was sold. 
The Chinese themselves answered evasively or not all, but our 
guide told us they were taken to Hun-chun and there sold to 
merchants who either carried them across the sea or inlands 

" After a difficult navigation of five days we came to the 
mouth of the Nintu, where we waited for our promised 
guide. I prepared to continue our journey on foot, further 
progress by water being impossible. Our Goldi soon brought 
his relative, who annually visited the sea-coast, but we had 
much ado to get him to accompany us. We were obliged to 

* Ginseng is imported by sea into Canton. Veniukof s observations 
on the sale of the Ginseng will be found further on. 


agree to his taking us by a road whieh he knew, and not 
in the direction which we wished. Early on the 21st July, 
we started. We had not been able to procure any horses, 
for the Chinese would not lend us any, though they offered 
to sell them for about £10 each. We were compelled there- 
fore to walk, carrying our baggage on our backs. Our 
burthens were heavy and the roads bad, so that we were 
forced, as early as the 23rd, to leave one of our exhausted 
Cossacks with Chinese settlers. The 24th July especially 
will never be forgotten by us. About noon the Orochi led 
us to a deep ford at the Fudza river which he told us to wade 
through, as otherwise we should be compelled to ascend the 
river to its source. We consented ; the water reached up to 
our breasts ; we landed, and we were just going to light a 
fire when we perceived that three more branches of the river 
had to be crossed. At last the main branch of the Fudza 
barred our passage. I ordered a raft to be constructed, but 
having launched it after three hours, three men preparing to 
navigate it, it was carried away by the current, and thrown 
upon a small island, where it was shattered to pieces. Our 
anxiety was great, until we ascertained that the men had 
been saved. But unfortunately they had been cast upon the 
opposite shore, and we had no means of getting to them ; 
a rope thrown towards them was not long enough. We 
succeeded however in letting them have some biscuit and 
some means of lighting a fire. 

" On the 25th, we retraced our steps through the five fords, 
the water having considerably risen during the night, and 
rejoined our people. The difficulty we had in ascending a 
rocky slope on the right bank of the Fudza may be judged of 
from the fact, that we did so singly, so that in case one of us 
slipped, the others might not be precipitated through his fall. 
Having at length regained our former track, I asked the 
guide whether he was sure we should not again meet with 
such perilous passages, and whether it was likely we should 


come out upon Vladimir Bay, the goal of our journey. He 
gave a satisfactory answer, and we felt the more inclined to 
believe him, as the Chinese whom we met on the 24th, had 
given us similar information. But to our great discomfort 
such was not the case. 

" I will state here how we got from the valley of the TJsuri 
to the Fudza, and why, having lost our way, we did not at 
once return to the right track. The fact is, the inhabitants 
only call the river TJsuri below its junction with the Fudza. 
The upper part they call Sandugu. When we engaged the 
Orochi to take us to the sea, I made it a condition that he 
was to conduct us along the TJsuri, and not along the Nintu. 
During the first two days he did as we desired, but when I 
observed on the third day (23rd July) that we were going 
more and more towards the east, instead of south, I asked him 
the name of the river towards which he was taking us, and we 
learned that it was upon the Fudza. At first I felt inclined to 
return to the Sandugu, but as I found from D'Anville's map 
that the sources of the Fudza were nearer to Vladimir Bay 
than those of the TJsuri (Sandugu), and as I desired to 
become somewhat acquainted with the country surrounding 
that harbour, I resolved to continue our journey, and to 
return by way of the TJsuri. Moreover all the natives agreed 
that the pass towards which we were going was the most 
convenient. On the 27th July, we did in reality cross a 
low, swampy, mountain ridge, which separates the Fudza from 
the Lifule river, running towards the sea. 

" The country from the mouth of the Nintu up to this pass 
presents a large valley half-a-mile to four miles wide, and is 
well adapted for agriculture. It is wooded, and elms and oaks 
abound; but as we approach the pass, there are, at first 
isolated and after a while more frequently, conifers, cedars, 
larches, and pines, between birches, elms, aspens, and other 
foliferous trees. The cedars here are of splendid growth. 
The ridge itself is covered exclusively with pines, and on its 



slope we find birches also. The Fudza from its source to its 
junction with the Sandugu is seventy-five miles long. Many 
Chinese are settled along its banks, and engage in agricul- 
ture. They grow millet, barley, wheat, spelt, and also hemp, 
potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, and vegetables. The produce 
suffices for their own wants and those of the Ginseng-seekers. 
The fields are cultivated with that industry which distin- 
guishes the inhabitants of the celestial empire. Many of 
them keep oxen, horses, and fowls. The horses are not large, 
but strongly built ; the oxen are of a large and excellent 
breed, and in good condition. Besides being used for plough- 
ing, and the conveyance of heavy loads, these animals are 
employed in the mills, which are attached to almost every 
house, and the millstone is set in motion by a horse (as 
shewn on the annexed illustration). The flour when ground 


is put into bins. Some of the Chinese have small distilleries 
with copper retorts. All Chinese go into the mountains to 
hunt, and many have match-locks. Among the hunfing 
trophies are the skins of the panther, of brown and black 
bears, red foxes, and a few sables J the latter however are of 
very inferior quality. The larger animals are hunted also 


during the summer. The Chinese are in the habit of hang- 
ing up their hunting spoils in the small idol-temples which 
stand near almost every house ; they do this from a super- 
stitious belief that otherwise their next chase might prove 

" When I got into the valley of the Lifule, called Tadukhu 
by the Orochi, I saw with pleasure that it extended to the 
south-east. We did not therefore get any further out of our 
route to Port Vladimir. We were certainly further north- 
wards than we originally intended, but our divergence was 
thoroughly compensated for by the discovery of very fertile 
tracts not far from the sources of the Lifule, and the distance 
to Port Vladimir, from any settlements which at a future 
period may be founded here, will scarcely exceed twenty 
miles. On the 28th July we came upon the first Chinese 
house on the Lifule ; on the following day they increased in 
number. I had expected to reach the sea on the 29th, for 
the Lifule has a length of only fifty-five miles, but owing to 
its many windings, which we had to wade through with 
care, we did not reach the sea before the 30th— a happy day 
for us. A strong north-east wind, blowing in the direction 
of the coast, dispersed the clouds, and the fog, which until 
now concealed the summits of the mountains, rose and dis- 
appeared. Having ordered my people to rest themselves, 
I ascended a mountain whence I had a splendid view of the 
neighbouring country. I was not however able to keep my 
footing upon the top of this mountain, for the wind there 
blew with the violence of a hurricane, carrying heavy stones 
before it. Descending, I tried to cross to the right bank of 
the Lifule, but owing to the depth of the river did not 
succeed. On my return I gave orders to erect a cross on a 
small mound, upon which I placed an inscription stating 
that I had been here on the 30th July, 1858. In the mean- 
time the Cossacks prepared for our onward journey, and 
engaged in seal-fishing. The Orochi wandered along the 

258 THE 8EA-00AST. 

sea-shore and gathered Kai-tzai, a well-known sea- weed, of a 
brownish colour and about seven feet long. The herds of 
horses and cows of the settlers of the Lifule pastured in this 
picturesque valley. The nearest village stands about eight 
miles from the sea, and we only saw the tents of some 
herdsmen. The Chinese must either be afraid of the sea, or 
they do not care about it. Besides what advantages would 
it offer to people who have no boats to navigate it ; along the 
whole course of the Lifule we saw no more than five or six 
canoes, and these only served to cross the river. But even 
were they to engage in ship-building no benefit could 
possibly accrue. It would scarcely be worth while to carry 
on commerce with the few scattered nomades, and should 
they wish to be pirates they would find no opportunity for 
carrying on their pursuits. 1 

" We intended to continue our journey on the morning of 
the 30th, but I was attacked by a sudden illness, and we 
were in consequence obliged to retrace our steps to the 
Fudza. Immediately on taking some food I was seized 
with violent pains in the stomach and ringing in the ears, 
as if I had been poisoned.-* A few drops of water which 
I took eased my pains for the moment, but they returned 
with redoubled violence, and very much frightened my 
people. I was much relieved by a copious emetic, but 
my weakness scarcely allowed me to walk, and in making 
the attempt I had to support myself upon the arm of 
one of the Cossacks. While I was lying on the grass, 

1 Nevertheless trade is being engaged in along the coast of Man- 
churia. La P6rouse mentions the Bitchy who come from the south 
in boats to Castries Bay, and Tronson, more recently, met sea-going 
boats of the natives in some of the coast rivers. — R. 

I We had dined that day in the house of a Chinaman who wished me 
to become acquainted with the way in which he prepared his food. His 
salt no doubt had been mixed with some substance which made it 
taste sweet, and appears to disagree with Europeans, though not 
necessarily poisonous. 


two miles from our last night's quarters, some thirty Chinese 
came up and threatened our Orochi guide, who fortunately 
was accompanied by our interpreter and an armed Cos- 
sack. As they drew nearer we found it was their intention 
to kill the Orochi because he had shewn us the way, 
and they frightened him so much that he got black in 
the face and lost the use of his tongue. The interpreter 
understood the Chinese who spoke Orochi, and explained to 
me the state of affairs, telling me that the Chinese desired to 
see the notes I had been taking. I might have resented 
such impertinence by a few musket-balls without at all 
deviating from the peaceable character of my mission ; the 
Chinese, however, retreated some distance, but continued 
to threaten our Orochi. It required a great deal of per- 
suasion to induce the Orochi to keep in our company, and 
he refused point-blank to guide us to the Vladimir Bay, de- 
claring that he would run away if we used compulsion, and 
leave us without means to find our way back. I did not 
think it advisable to separate my small force to fetch the 
Cossack whom we had been compelled to leave at the Fudza, 
nor did I feel sufficiently strong myself to continue the 
journey. We resolved therefore to return to the Nintu 
where our boats were. On the 4th August we arrived at 
the Chinese house where our Cossack had remained. He 
had by this time quite recovered. 

" This terminates my exploration of the river TJsuri, and 
of the road from its source across the mountains between 
the valleys of the Fudza and Lifule, and to the sea !" 

The other observations made by M. Veniukof, we have 
incorporated into the various chapters of this volume. 

The Sungaei. 

By far the greater part of Manchuria — we exclude here as 
elsewhere the province of Leaotong — as at present under 



the dotninion of the Chinese, is drained by the Sungari and 
its affluents. The sources of the Sungari are situated upon 
the north-west slope of the Shan-alin or White Mountains, 
which have a belt of thick forests at the foot, fine pasturage 
higher up, and then precipitous slopes, with glaciers and 
perennial snow. On their summit is situated an alpine lake 
having a circumference of above ten miles. The elevation 
of these mountains probably exceeds 12,000 feet. They form 
an impassable barrier between Korea and Manchuria. 
Further to the south they bound the fertile plain of 
Leaotong, in which stands Mukden the capital of the 
province, and which is traversed by the Sira-muren river. 
Towards the north-east, the Shan-alin subsides into a 
mountainous country forming the water-shed between the 
TJsuri and Sungari. We have not however to do here with 
a chain of mountains, but rather with a plateau or table-land, 
densely wooded in the south, and changing in the north into 
prairie and grass-land, often of a marshy or swampy nature. 
The rivers run here in deep valleys, isolated mountain-chains 
are set upon the plateau, and in its main features this tract 
may be compared with the regions north of the Amur 
traversed by Middendorf, with this exception, that whilst 
the forests of the latter consist exclusively of conifers, we 
find here oaks and elms north of the 45th degree of latitude, 
pines and firs being restricted to the more elevated and 
consequently colder regions to the south of that line. 

We now return to the Shan-alin in order to trace the 
watershed of the Sungari towards the south and east. In 
the south the arid plateau of the Korchin, a continuation 
of the Gobi desert, from which it is separated by the ridge of 
the Khingan mountains, here low and barren, separates the 
basin of the Sungari from that of the Sira-muren or Leaotong 
river. The Khingan continues to form the watershed 
further to the north. The mountains increase in height, 
and the Yalo pass is estimated by the Missionaries to have 


an elevation of 6,000 feet, which is however probably much 
exaggerated. The eastern slope of the Khingan partakes of 
the character of the Gobi, of which it forms the boundary ; 
it is barren, arid and occasionally wooded with pitch-firs. 
As we approach the summit of the range we enter dense 
forests of birch and larch, and on the eastern slope, of larch 
and oaks, until we arrive at the prairies or steppes extending 
along both banks of the Nonni and Sungari, down to the 
Amur. It is a branch of the Khingan which forms the 
rocky banks of the Amur above the Komar, and another 
branch which separates the small tributaries of the Amur 
from those of the Nonni and Sungari, and which finally 
crosses the Amur as the Bureya mountains, formerly called 
Little Khingan. 

" The Sungari, with its low and fertile banks, slow current, 
and absence of shallows and rapids which might impede 
navigation, is the most populated portion of Manchuria. k 
The river is navigable below Girin, the largest . town of 
Manchuria, with a reputed population of 600,000 inhabitants, 
which Kimai-Kim, the Korean traveller, reduces to 150,000 
(in 1844), but which even then would be considerable. 
'Like almost all Chinese cities, Girin contains nothing 
remarkable ; it is an irregular collection of cabins, built of 
brick or of clay, and covered with straw, with only a ground 
floor. It is inhabited by Manchu and Chinese indis- 
criminately, but by the latter in far greater numbers. 
Trade is in a flourishing state, and there is a great stir in 
the streets. It is an emporium for the trade in furs, cotton 
cloths, silks, of artificial flowers, with which the women of 
every class deck their heads, and of timber for building, 
brought from the imperial forests, which may be perceived 

k The Manchu and Manyargs who navigate the Sungari, spend eight 
days from the mouth of the river to Sansin ; and the voyage to Tsitsikar 
or Mergen requires a month. They either tow their boats from the 
land or push them along with long poles. 



at a short distance south of the town.' Most boats used for 
the navigation of the Sungari and Amur are built here. 
After a course of nearly two hundred miles below Girin, 
and in a north-western direction, the Sungari receives its 
most considerable tributary, the Nonni, and then suddenly 
sweeps round to the north-east, in which direction it con- 
tinues for above eight hundred miles to its confluence with 
the Amur. The banks of the Sungari, below Girin, as well 
as those of its tributaries, the Nonni below Mergen (or 
Mangar), the Hurka (Ehulkha or Mu-twan) below Ninguta, 
consist of vast prairies often extending for miles inland, and 
finally merging into the prairies of the Amur. Spurs of the 
mountains approach close to the river occasionally only. 
Such, for instance, is the case at Sansin, which in 1844 was 
still the lowest town to which Chinese colonisation had 
extended, and which then had about 10,000 inhabitants. 
Sixteen years have brought about a great change, and at 
present a numerous Chinese population extends for about 
fifty miles below Sansin. We insert here an extract from a 
letter of Mr. Maximowicz, who in 1859 ascended the Sungari, 
but was compelled to return before he reached Sansin on 
account of the hostile reception by the Chinese villagers. 1 

" On the 22nd July, 1859, 1 left the settlement of Yekaterino- 
Nikolskoi, arrived on the 25th at the mouth of the Sungari, 
and having engaged, at the last Russian station, another 
Cossack as a boatman, made preparations, on the same day, to 
ascend the river. It was my intention to go up the Sungari 
to the mouth of the Nonki, but the antagonistic position 
assumed by the Manchu authorities frustrated my plans. At 
the very mouth of the Sungari, the Manchu official to whom 
I shewed my passport, forbade me to continue the journey 
without assigning any reason, and when appealing to the 
treaty of Aigun, I continued my journey in spite of him, he 

1 Viestuik, Russian Geographical Society, 1859, part xii 


threatened me with his matchlock. On the road I learned 
from the Goldi inhabiting the bank of the river, that orders 
had arrived to detain me, and conduct me a prisoner to Sansin. 
The Goldi however being rather well inclined towards the 
Russians, I was enabled to travel a distance of one hundred 
and seventy miles without further molestation. But here, 
about thirty-three miles below the town of Sansin, where the 
Manchu-Chinese population is so great that from the left and 
inhabited bank of the river eight villages may often be seen 
at one and the same time, the Chinese peasants made a first 
attempt to surprise me. But seeing a gun on board my 
boat they precipitately retired, and I resolved at all events to 
push on to the foot of the mountains which appeared to slope 
down to the banks of the river, and only to return in case 
another attack should be made upon me. On the following 
day, the 9th August, I perceived to my sorrow that the 
nearest mountain-slopes were at about two-thirds of a mile 
from the bank of the river, and that in order to reach them 
I should have to traverse a large village, the inhabitants of 
which would have attacked either me or the people whom I 
should have to leave with the boat. Even now they were 
following us armed with flails, and had it not been for the 
revolver I carried in my belt, they certainly would have 
fallen upon the Cossacks who towed my boat up the river. 
Under these circumstances an exploration of the country was 
not to be thought of, and in the next village, Chado, which 
was very large and situated on both banks of the river, I 
should certainly have been attacked, for the Chinese evi- 
dently only wanted some leader. I therefore returned 
without having reached Sansin and the mountains surround- 
ing it, which we saw at a distance of about twenty-five miles. 
On the 12th August, I again passed the Chinese guard at the 
mouth of the river, and on the following day arrived at the 
station Mikhailo-Semenovskaya, seventeen miles below it, 
whence I sent a report of my proceedings to the governor of 


the Amur province. The country, as far as I traversed it, 
consists of an extensive, monotonous plain, upon which 
isolated mountain-chains are seen but rarely and at a great 
distance. One of these chains sends a spur down to the bank 
of the river, near the village Cham-khoton, and here, and in 
a small wood near Susu, I made some interesting discoveries. 
I found a wild apricot, of excellent flavour, the tree having 
a diameter of at least one foot ; a little known species of 
the cucumber family, Thladiantha, Aristolochia contorta, etc. 
" The rest of the country consisted either of grassy plains, 
with shrubs of willows, or steppes where Mongolian oaks, 
Corylus heterophylla, and Ulmus campestris grow. The 
vegetation upon the whole resembles that of similar regions of 
the Amur, with this difference, that plants which there occur 
but rarely, such as Lilirnn callosum, Melampyrus roseum, 
and others are found here plentifully, and that some Chinese 
plants make their appearance in the south. The small woods 
and groves, which are met with in some few localities, are 
chiefly Usuri apple-trees, mixed with elms and hawthorns. 
The number of trees is very small. Conifers and even white 
birches are not found at all, and the black birch and lime are 
very scarce. These trees are found only in the mountains, 
at some distance from the river." 



The island of Sakhalin extends from Cape Elizabeth (54° 24' 
north latitude) to Gape Crillon (45° 54' north latitude) a 
distance of five hundred and eighty-eight miles from north 
to south. The area may be 32,000 square miles. The native 
name is Taraika or Choka, and to the Japanese it is known 
as Karafto or Oku-Yeso, that is northern Yeso. 

The island in 52° north latitude approaches to within six 
miles of the mainland, from which it is separated by the 
shallow Mamia Strait, supposed from the time of La P£rouse 
till very lately to have no existence, or to afford at most a 
passage at high water to native canoes only. The Japanese 
traveller, Mamia Rinso, whose accounts were published by 
Siebold in 1835, has however clearly proved the contrary, 
and late Russian discoveries have established the fact to the 
satisfaction even of the most sceptical, that this strait really 
does exist, and that Sakhalin consequently is an island. As 
such it is represented on the map published by D'Anville, as 
early as 1753, in which it is described as Sahalien ula hata, 
that is "rocks at the mouth of the black river (Amur)." 
We have throughout this work called this island " Sakhalin/' 
as the Russians, in the numerous accounts they publish, give 
it this name, which has thus become domiciled in geogra- 
phical terminology. It would nevertheless be more correct 
to call the island Krafto, Taraika, or Choka, Sakhalin simply 
meaning " black." 

A mountain-chain, with craggy summits, and which is 


believed to be covered with snow throughout the year, under 
52° north latitude, traverses the island from south to north. 
The coast is generally rocky and steep, but opposite the 
mouth of the Amur it consists of sandy downs, and a similar 
region of downs extends on the east coast, both being divided 
by the mountain chain' previously mentioned. As the island 
extends through eight degrees of latitude there is of 
course a great difference of climate ; and, whilst the rigours 
of the winter of the Lower Amur are reproduced with even 
greater severity, in its northern half, the south enjoys a 
much more equable climate, and one by far preferable to 
that of the coast of Manchuria under the same latitude. 

Aniva Bay occupies the southern end of Sakhalin ; it is 
forty-miles deep, and its two capes, Crillon and Aniva, are 
sixty-five miles apart. The bay is surrounded by high 
mountains ; the valleys are covered with luxuriant grasses, 
five feet high ; wild briars, raspberries, geraniums, roses and 
lilies, exhale their perfume, and birches, willows, and other 
foliferous trees abound in lower situations, pines being 
restricted to the higher land. The Japanese have within 
this bay two settlements, valuable on account of the fish 
which is caught here in great abundance, it being unnecessary 
even to use a net, as the fish may be taken out of the sea 
with pails during low water. Krusenstern found the whales 
so plentiful, that it required the greatest caution to avoid 
being upset on going ashore. One of the Japanese settlements 
is at Tomare Aniva on the east side, the other at the bottom 
of the bay in Salmon-trout Bay. The former place had 
been temporarily occupied by the Russians, who called their 
settlement Muravief. At both places there are magazines 
for storing dried fish, which is exchanged for rice, salt, cloth, 
and cutlery, and other articles brought by the Japanese. 
Unfortunately Aniva Bay offers few advantages in the way 
of havens. It is exposed to south winds, and the harbours of 
Tomare Aniva, and Port Busse, a short distance south of it, 


which are pretty well sheltered, are exceedingly small. A 
Japanese settlement, Siranusi, is situated near Gape Crillon, 
east of the bay. 

We now round Cape Aniva (46° 2' N. lat. 143° 31' E. long.), 
a barren mass of rocks, and proceed along the east coast of 
the island, which as far as Mordvinof Bay, a distance of 
sixty miles, is steep and rocky, with bold mountains, densely 
wooded, in the back ground. The southern shore of Mordvi- 
nof Bay (46° 48' N. lat. 143° 15' W. long.) is hilly, and 
wooded with firs; the northern shore is flat. Wood and 
water are found in plenty, and there is good anchoring 
ground on a clayey bottom. North of Mordvinof Bay the 
coast is again abrupt and rocky ; the country appears more 
attractive than further south; the hills near the cctast are 
covered with beautiful verdure, and the valleys are richly 
wooded ; the mountain chain in the interior rises to a con* 
siderable height, and attains its culminating point in Bernizet 
Peak or Mount Spenberg (47° 33' N. lat.). 

The western and northern shores of the Gulf of Patience 
are low, with a shelving beach ; the depth of water half a 
mile from the shore is four fathoms. The adjoining land is 
in some places covered with mud five or six feet deep, in 
others with a rich black soil, but the trees, most of them 
of the thorn kind, are stunted in their growth. In May 
snow still remains in many spots. The river Ty, Neva of 
Rrusenstern or Boronei (of the Oroke ?), enters the Bay 
(49° 15' N. lat. 143° 33' E. long.). At its mouth it is about 
thirty yards wide, and seven feet deep. It communicates 
with a lake at a short distance from the shore. The eastern 
coast of the bay is rather mountainous and craggy, and the 
character continues the same after rounding the low Cape 
Patience (48° 52' N, lat. 144° 46' E. long.) as far as Cape 
Deliale de la Croyere (51° N. lat. 143° 43' E. long.), for a 
distance of one hundred and sixty miles. Where there is 
the mouth of a rivulet small inlets occur, and here generally 


also native settlements. The hills near the coast are of 
moderate height, with stunted trees, and only shrubs are 
found near the sea-coast. From Cape Delisle to Cape 
Lowenstern (54° 3' N. lat. 143° 13' E. long.), a distance of 
above two hundred miles, the shore consists of a sandy 
beach, covered with an impenetrable growth of shrubs, but 
in some parts there are only a few larches. More inland 
we find not only abundance of conifers, but also foliferous 
trees of various kinds. The mountain range is either seen 
at a great distance or disappears altogether. Along the 
whole of this coast a current sets to the south at the rate 
of about a mile an hour. At Cape Lowenstern the country 
again becomes mountainous, and there is a charming valley 
to the south of that cape. But after doubling it, the 
appearance of the country is dreary in the extreme. The 
coast is formed by barren granitic rocks, rising perpen- 
dicularly from the sea, and there is not a vestige of 
vegetation. Cape Elizabeth (54° 24' 30" N. lat. 142° 46' 30" 
E. long.), the extreme northern point of the island, is a 
pinnacled mass of such rocks, but between it and Cape 
Maria another bold rocky headland, whence a dangerous 
reef runs towards the north-east, opens a large bay of 
considerable depth. The land surrounding this bay is of 
moderate height, and in places even low. The heights 
are well wooded with magnificent fir trees, and in the 
valleys fine grass grows. A large Aino village stands at 
the bottom of the bay, and a smaller one near Cape Maria. 
There is good anchoring-ground here, on a sandy bottom ; 
the bay is free from all surf, and the only drawback is 
its exposure to the winds, which however are seldom 

We now double Cape Maria and return to Aniva Bay by 
the western side of the island. The country continues 
mountainous as far as Cape Horner (54° 4' N. lat. 142° 
28' 30" E. long.), but the mountains are wooded even to 


their summits, and the valleys covered with luxuriant 
grass. At Cape Horner the mountains terminate, and a 
low and sandy shore with sand-hills, and occasionally small 
lakes and swamps, extends thence south to Cape Wanda, in 
the latitude of Castries bay.* The shore thence to the south 
is hilly rather than mountainous, with a coast of steep 
earth-banks, from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 
feet high, and interrupted now and then by rocky capes. 
There is not a single good harbour along the whole of this 
coast, the bays de la Jonqutere (50° 54'), d'Estaing (48° 59' 
N. lat.) de Langle (47° 49') and Nevelsky (47° 15'), being 
mere open roadsteads. The vegetation is far more favourable 
than on the east coast. The valleys are covered with luxu- 
riant grass, and though pines and firs prevail north of 
48° N. lat., birches, maples and oaks are found at the same 
time, especially on proceeding a short distance into the 
interior. There is another feature which renders the 
possession of this coast of great importance. Coals have 
been discovered at Dui, near Jonquiere Bay, and at de 
Langle Bay, and are being explored by the Russians, who 
have also established themselves at Eusunai 

We add to this short notice of (Sakhalin the account of a 
journey undertaken in 1855-6 by L. von Schrenck, into the 
interior of the northern part of the island. 

Schrenck's Journey to Sakhalin Island. 

" Nikolayevsk, 15th May, 1856. 

" The war having frustrated my desire to visit Sakhalin 

Island during the summer, I resolved to take advantage of 

the winter to acquire an exact knowledge of the character of 

its vegetation, of its birds and mammals, and lastly of the 

* A largo bay, Deception, Obman or Baikal Bay, closed by a bar, 
opens under 53° N. lat. Its greatest depth is ten feet, and it is sur- 
rounded by pretty wooded scenery* 

270 schrexck's journey 

various tribes which inhabit it. I left this place for that 
purpose on the 11th February accompanied by two Cossacks, 
a sailor, with three sledges and an ample supply of pro- 
visions. Having rapidly passed along the Liman of the 
Amur, we reached the island on the 13th February. On the 
following day we were at the village of Ty, the inhabitants 
of which had shown so little hospitality to me during my 
first visit. Wind and snow detained us this time also for 
four days much against my will, and we could not continue 
our journey before the fifth. "We followed the coast in a 
southerly direction ; the swamps found in the vicinity of the 
Liman are soon replaced by undulating rocks of grey lime- 
stone and a reddish clay, which latter in places exhibits a 
bed of bitumen. As far south as Cape Dui, and especially 
near Jonquiere Bay the coast is studded by small villages 
of Gilyaks, whose language and custom place them between 
the Gilyaks of the mainland and those in the interior of 
the island and its east coast. On tho west coast these people 
extend as far as the village Pilavo, which is however 
inhabited during summer by several families of Ainos. At 
the village Arkai, which I reached on the 20th February, I 
left the coast to penetrate into the interior. Snow-storms 
had completely hidden every trace of the road and none of 
the Gilyaks of the village was willing to guide us across 
the three ranges of hills intervening between the coast and 
the source of the Tymy. I therefore departed on the 
following morning without a guide. After much trouble, we 
crossed the first of three mountain ridges and camped for 
the night in the snow. It was the last night for which we 
were provided with food for our dogs. Unfortunately a 
fresh snowstorm rendered our progress on the following day 
even more difficult, and we could get on only by continually 
sounding the depth of the snow. At last, this plan also 
failed, and we found ourselves in entire ignorance of the 
direction we were to take. Fortunately we met here two 


Gilyak sledges which came from the Tymy river, and 
following the fresh traces they had left, we continued our 
journey. We crossed two more ridges of the mountains, and 
in the evening, during a violent snow-storm reached a 
Gilyak hut on the Tymy. In- reality but one range of hills 
intervenes between the coast and the Tymy, but the natives, 
in preference to following the course of the rivulets, take the 
direct route leading across these heights. 

" The Tymy is a rather considerable river which runs 
towards the north-east, through a wide valley, and before 
entering the sea of Okhotsk, penetrates through the 
mountains on the east coast. Its source is separated only by 
a crest of little elevation from the river Ty, which runs 
towards the south into the Gulf of Patience. During winter 
the Gilyaks, Ainos and Oroke congregate on the Ty, the 
banks of which at other seasons are deserted ; on the other 
hand those of the Tymy are the most populated part of the 
whole of Sakhalin. From the source to the mouth numerous 
villages of Gilyaks are met with, whose language differs 
essentially from that of the Gilyaks on the mainland, and 
both in language and features they form a particular branch 
of that interesting people. The Tymy has a remarkably 
rapid current ; it never freezes, even when the cold descends 
below the freezing point of mercury. It abounds in fish, 
especially during spring ; several kinds of salmon are caught 
here, but particularly, as in the Amur, the Salmo lago- 
cephalus. The Gilyaks of the Tymy collect immense stores 
of frozen fish, not only as food for themselves and their dogs 
during winter, but also as an object of trade with Ainos, 
Oronchons, the Gilyaks of the coast, the mainland, theAinan, 
and the Manguns of the Amur. The Ainos bring to the 
valley of the Tymy Japanese goods, the Oroke furs, the 
others copper, seals, Russian and Manchu merchandise. 

" The study of nature in this valley, as far as the season 
would permit, was not a little interesting to me. On the 

272 schrenck's journey to Sakhalin. 

15th January, the temperature of the water of the river was 
33'12 F. The river affords a refuge to numerous kinds of 
ducks and other birds (Anas Boschas, Fidigula cristata, 
Cinclus Pallasius) ; on the rocks which bound its banks it is 
not rare to meet with a very large eagle (Haliaetus pela- 
gicus), the symmetrical feathers of which furnish to the 
inhabitants an article of a very advantageous commerce with 
the Japanese. Having remained for some time in the upper 
part of the valley of the Tymy, we continued our journey on 
the 28th February. The weather was clear but very cold ; 
on the 2nd March at 7 a.m., we had —62° F. ; on the follow- 
ing day the temperature rose to — 38° F. The lower course 
of the Tymy was frozen, and we found it best to cross the ice 
several times to avoid its sinuosities. The excessive cold 
gives Sakhalin the character of a continental climate rather 
than that of an island. The forests which cover it confirm 
this opinion. There are many kinds (species) of trees; 
especially foliferous ones, among which the oak, ash and 
maple are frequent. There are many very high cedars among 
the conifers. In the valley of the Tymy the wooded tracts 
further from the river exhibit an admixture of different 
kinds of trees. Near the river the foliferous trees pre- 
dominate, particularly birch and willows; the slopes and 
crests of the mountains are on the contrary covered with 
conifers. On approaching the eastern coast of the island 
the larch becomes more frequent and takes the place of other 
species, till on the coast itself no other tree is found, and it is 
there dwarf-like and gnarled. On the west coast, the main- 
land of the sea of Okhotsk and the north part of the Liman, 
the larch is only met with incidentally. This tree therefore 
is typical of the vegetation of this coast. 

"The geographical distribution of animals in Sakhalin 
accords with that of the trees. This island, in fact, or at all 
events its northern portion, may be included in the same 
zone with the mouth of the Amur, and the nearest coast of 


the Okhotsk sea. We find, besides the rein-deer, the com- 
mon stag (cervus elaphus), the roe, elk and musk ox, which 
inhabit the depths of the thickest forest in the interior. 
There is still in Sakhalin a wandering tribe of Tunguzians 
who keep rein-deer, while among the Tunguzians of the 
Amur that animal has disappeared, and with it the traces of 
a nomadic life. 

" Proceeding along the valley of the Tymy, which still 
maintains the same breadth, the crests of the mountains 
enclosing it grow more and more elevated and their height 
is sometimes considerable. The summits are capped with 
snow, which disappears in the middle of summer only. The 
natives say that it remains throughout the year on the 
lofty peaks of the Pshangar mountains, situated to the north- 
east of the valley, and which are called Vakaz on Japanese 
Maps. . The river intersects this chain of mountains, turns 
towards the east, and runs rapidly to the Sea of Okhotsk. 
On the lower course of the Tymy, fewer habitations are met 
with than in the. upper part of the valley, and more than 
once we had to pass the night in the open air. On the 
4th March we reached the east coast of the island, and pro- 
ceeded along it as far as Nyi Bay, and after a stay of two 
days, from bad weather, among the inhospitable tribe of 
the Tro-Gilyaks, we returned. The deficiency of provisions 
obliged us to accelerate our journey as much as possible. 
Having visited Jonquifere Bay and the coal deposits at 
Khoinjo, we retraced our steps to the north ; and on the 
17th March arrived at the village of Chkharbakh at the 
mouth of the Amur, where we found a sledge with pro- 
visions and some articles for barter which had been sent 
to us. The object of this was to enable me to make another 
excursion to the north of the Liman, and to the south shores 
of the Sea of Okhotsk into the district of the now abandoned 
winter station of Petrovsk; to gather information re- 
specting the coast, and the manner of life of the Gilyaks 

274 schrenck's journey to Sakhalin. 

who dwell there, and who are the most northern represent- 
atives of this important people. Unfortunately thick fogs 

and snow-storms continually accompanied us On 24th 

March, after an absence of six weeks, , we were again off 
Nikolayevsk, having made a journey of nine hundred and 
forty miles with dogs." 




The climate of the regions of the Amur is influenced mainly 
by two causes, first, its position at the eastern extremity of 
a large continent ; and secondly, its being washed towards 
the east by the Pacific Ocean. The features of a continental 
and maritime climate thus become blended. The cold 
during winter is less severe at places situated on the Lower 
Amur and in the neighbourhood of the sea, nor is the 
summer as warm as that of places situated under the same 
parallel, but further inland. Still this equalising influence 
of the sea is not so greatf as it would be, were the sea of 
Okhotsk and Channel of Manchuria as free from ice as is the 
Eastern Atlantic in the same latitudes. Whilst the difference 
between the summer and winter temperature in London is 
24°/ and 62° at Irkutsk in the centre of Northern Asia ; it 
is 58° at Nikolayevsk at the mouth of the Amur, and 75° 
at Nerchinsk Zavod, or 17° in favour of Nikolayevsk, and 
37° in favour of London, if compared with Nerchinsk and 
Irkutsk respectively. 

The following comparative table will at once demonstrate 
the characteristic features of continental and maritime 
climate, as applying to London — Barnaul — Irkutsk and 
Nikolayevsk — Nerchinsk Zavod : — 

* Fahrenheit throughout. 

T 2 






Nerchinsk Zavod 

Mean Temperature. 

between I 







52* 17' 
51* 19* 
53° 8' 























We perceive, by this table, that whilst the summer tem- 
perature of the places enumerated differs by scarcely three 
degrees, that of winter shows greatly in favour of London 
and Nikolayevsk, both under maritime influences. The 
difference in the climate of the above places is equally 
striking, when we compare them with respect to the usual 
atmospheric precipitation. At London and Nikolayevsk 
rain (and snow) are pretty equally distributed throughout 
the year, with a maximum in autumn, but at Barnaul and 
Nerchinsk scarcely any rain (or snow) falls during the 
winter and spring. 

Nerchinsk . 

Precipitation in Incbea. 









131 days 




28 days 




36 days 




28 days 




39 days 

We are not in a position to state the amount of rain and 
snow which fell at Nikolayevsk, but the number of days 
suffices for our purposes. During winter at Nerchinsk there 
is hardly a sledge to be seen on account ,. of the scarcity of 
the snow, whilst at Nikolayevsk the snow lies several feet 
deep. The regions of the southern Amur being five degrees 
further to the south, enjoy of course a milder climate, bat 


even here there is nothing to boast of, for the rivers are 
frozen five months daring the year. The minimu m tem- 
perature observed at Nerchinsk is — 49°, at Blagovesh'chensk 
— 49°, the Usuri mouth— 18°, at Mariinsk — 36°, and at 
Nikolayevsk — 40°. After these preliminary remarks, we 
will enter a little more into detail with regard to particular 
portions of the Amur. 

1. The Upper Amur, down to the mouth of the Komar, 
enjoys a climate similar to that of Dauria (Eastern Trans- 
baikal). The Shilka below Nerchinsk is free from ice 
about the 10th April, strong south-westerly winds prevail, 
and the first rain falls. About the middle of the month* 
vegetation begins to spring forth in favourable spots ; and 
in May, the air is fragrant with the perfumes of many 
flowers. The greatest heat lasts from the middle of June 
to the middle of July, when the thermometer in the shade 
rises as high as 92° ; but in the morning and evening a 
cool breeze blows down from the ravines in the mountains. 
More continuous rains, with northerly winds, set in about 
the latter part of June. About the 15th August the 
husbandman *eaps his corn, and after that hoar frost occurs 
and the leaves wither. But there are occasionally white 
frosts even in the midst of summer, and near Albazin snow 
fell during the night of the 4th June 1857. Thick fogs 
sometimes cover the country in the mornings in August, 
when nothing can be distinguished beyond a distance of ten 
or twelve paces ; about ten o'clock they disperse in clouds, 
and the aspect of nature is more charming from the tem- 
porary shroud which before enveloped it. September is dry 
and clear with but little wind, and though hoar frosts fall 
in the morning, the temperature during the day rises rather 
high. The first snow falls at the commencement of October ; 
but it is not till November that the weather becomes really 
severe, and about the 4th of that month the rivers are again 
covered with a sheet of ice, which remains for five months. 



The severe weather lasts until the end of February, and the 
temperature falls as low as — 35° and — 50°. The snow forms 
but a very thin covering, rarely sufficient even for sledge- 
riding, and throughout the winter cattle seek and find the 
fodder they require. This small quantity of snow has a 
very serious disadvantage. The thinly-covered soil freezes 
and crumbles, and is then carried away by the wind, leaving 
but stones and pebbles behind. 

The following table exhibits the monthly temperature of 
Nerchinsk Zavod, near the Argun, and 2,230 feet above the 
level of the sea, and the annual fall of rain and snow at the 
town of Nerchinsk on the Shilka, 1,845 feet above the sea. 
The former is the average of fourteen, the latter of- five 



Rain and Snow. 

Degrees F. 



April . 
May . 
June . 
July . 

Year . 



















2. The district below the Dzeya, as far as the fiureya 
Mountains enjoys no doubt a more favourable climate *h»n 
Dauria, but only in as far as the summer months are free 
from hoar-frost, which on the Upper Amur often proves 


destructive to the harvest. The winter is quite as long, and 
the Amur at Blagovesh'chensk is frozen over from the 8th 
Nov. to the 4th May (1856-7) ; there is scarcely more snow 
than in Dauria ; and the nomadic Manyargs are enabled to 
keep their horses throughout the winter pasturing in the 
open air. The Dzeya freezes nearly a fortnight earlier than 
the Amur, chiefly on account of its slower current. 

In 1859-60 the weather at Blagovesh'chensk was fine 
until the middle of October. On the 4th November much 
snow fell, and soon after the river became covered with ice. 
The weather during December and January was fine though 
cold, the temperature falling occasionally to — 45°, and at 
one time to — 49°, and never rising above 4-9*5. Violent 
storms occurred during November and again in February. 
On the 2nd April was the first thaw. Between the 6th and 
9th of May the river became free from ice, and the last snow 
fell on the 12th without however remaining on the ground. 
The maximum heat during summer is 99°. The climate is 
reputed the reverse of salubrious, owing probably to the low 
and often swampy plains surrounding the town. 

3. The Bwreya Mountains have a much cooler climate than 
either the prairies higher up or lower down. In August, 
thick fogs rest upon the river in the morning, and the nights 
are cold. In 1857, the cold up to the first of November did 
not however exceed — 40° ; north-westerly and sometimes 
westerly winds prevailed and the sky was clear ; easterly 
winds brought clouds. The first snow fell on the 6th 
October, and there was another fall on the 24th, when the 
temperature during the night was 23°. By the 2nd Nov. 
the snow had disappeared everywhere, and during that 
day, the wind being east, there even fell some rain. 

During the night the wind veered round to the north- 
west, and in the morning the temperature had sunk to 3°. 
On that day the first ice-blocks floated down the Amur, and on 
the 12th November the river was frozen over. Up to the 13th 


December, the cold did not generally exceed 10°, and though 
it was — 11° on the morning of the 16th November, it rose to 
freezing point (32°) during the day. Snow fell again on the 
22nd, and on the three following days, to the depth of one 
foot. The amount of snow throughout the winter is about 
four feet and a half, or more. The cold during January 
equals that of Dauria, and varies between 3° and — 47°. 

4. We now approach those regions of the Amur which 
have the most favourable climate. But even here the river 
is ice-bound during five to six months of the year. At the 
mouth of the Usuri it freezes about the end of November, and 
opens in the beginning of May. Snow covers the ground to 
the depth of one foot to one foot and a half, and in 
exceptional winters as much as two feet and a half. The 
minimum temperature during the winter 1857-8 was — 18° 
at the mouth of the Usuri. Spring at the mouth of the 
Gorin is about nine days in advance before that of Mariinsk, 
only one degree further north ; and simultaneous observations 
of temperature made during sixteen days, at the end of May 
and June, show a difference of five degrees in favour of 
the Gorin, where the mean temperature was 61°, whilst it 
was only 56° at Mariinsk. The minimum temperature, 
between the Sungari and Mariinsk, observed by Maack with 
a minimum thermometer during July varied between 53° and 
71°. The winds during spring and the beginning of summer 
are east and north-east, during autumn west and south-west, 
the former bringing rain. On again ascending the Amur, 
Maack' s minimnm thermometer for the first time sunk below 
freezing point on the 23rd September. The Usuri also has a 
favourable climate. As on the Amur, south-east winds, with 
thunderstorms prevail in June and July, and the quantity of 
rain causes the river to rise nineteen feet at its mouth. 
Veniukof assigns to the middle Usuri a mean annual tem- 
perature of 48°. The climate of this portion of the Amur is 


certainly none of the most enviable, but it is nevertheless 
favourable to the production of the cereals of northern 
Europe, and of some of the more hardy fruit-trees. The 
cultivation of the vine is of course out of the question. 

5. We now come to Mariinsk and Nikolayevsk, both more 
immediately subjected to the influence of the sea of Okhotsk. 
The river freezes at Mariinsk about the 10th November 
(6th to 14th), at Nikolayevsk on the 16th (14th to 20th). 
The first day on which the temperature fell below freezing 
point was the 14th October, 1855, at Mariinsk, and the 9th 
October, at Nikolayevsk. During the greater part of winter 
south-west to north-west winds predominated ; the barometer 
then stands high, the sky is clear, and the cold intense. 
Towards the middle of January, north-east and south-east 
winds blow; the temperature then rises, sometimes even 
above freezing point, heavy fogs occur, and large quantities 
of snow fall. Violent snow-storms take place when the wind 
changes. On the ice of the river, eten where the wind 
sweeps it away, the snow at Nikolayevsk lies to the depth of 
three feet and a half; at Mariinsk, under similar circum- 
stances, it is only two feet, a difference accounted for by the 
coast-range which shields it against easterly winds; for 
when we cross it to Castries Bay we find the masses of snow 
equally deep as at Nikolayevsk. In the forest it lies to a 
depth of twelve or fourteen feet. 

The last date upon which the temperature sunk below 
freezing point at Nikolayevsk, was in 1855, on the 24th 
April, and in 1856, on the 13th of April. About the 18th 
of May (14th — 21st) the river is free from ice, but on the 
25th, it is still found in sheltered bays, and the snow lies 
deep in the forests. At Mariinsk, the frost breaks ten or 
eleven days earlier. Southerly winds blow during spring ; 
in summer, the winds are more variable, westerly winds 
generally prevailing. East wind brings cold and rain. 



The following is a tabular statement of meteorological 
observations mode at Mariinsk and Nikolayevsk. 6 

Days with Raix 





Nlcolayerak. | 

Mariimk. | NikoUyersk. 

1854. 1855. 1856. 

1854. 1855. 1866. 

1857. 1858. 


1856. j 1856. 1866. 

January .... 



- I - 

7*81 ,-2*34 







Feb uary .. 



—1-04 — 




-3-68 1 








U50 1 — 












31*64 — 




81*89 ! 


U 1 









36 86 




13 ; 









56 00 













56 07 




9? 1 



August .... 


63 77 








? ! 



September. . 









? 1 












? ■ 



November . . 












December . . 




—4 90 






9 15 


Spring 3125 .. .. 25.70 


.. .. 36 

Summer 60*21 .. .. 59 05 

• ■ 


.. .. 28 

Autumn 34? .. .. 32 23 

30? .... 39 

Winter 41*57 .. .. 1*27 

.. .. 

40? .. .. 28 

Tear 8176 89 42 



1 15th to 30th November. * 1st to 19th. 

» 22nd to 29th. 

* 15th to 10th. 

6. Leaving the banks of the Amur and advancing south- 
ward into Manchuria, the climate does not apparently im- 
prove. This must be ascribed partly to the greater elevation 
of the country, partly to the vicinity of the snow-covered 
Shan-alin. At Ninguta violent storms rage at the com- 
mencement of spring ; there is hoar frost as early as the end 
of August, in September snow, and in October the rivers are 
frozen, and do not re-open before April. At Girin the tempe- 
rature falls to — 22°. The snow lies about six feet deep. 
Wheat does not succeed on account of superabundant 
moisture. The climate, however, will doubtless improve as 
the colonisation goes on. 

b The observations for 1854-6 were made by Schrenck and Maxi- 
raowicz; those for 1857-8 at the Meteorological Observatory of 
Nikolayevsk. The latter are published in Kupfer's Compte rendu 
Annuel, etc. Petersburg, 1858. 


7. We now proceed to the Channel of Tatary. Here the 
winds blow with great regularity. During summer, 
when the weather is clear and the barometer high, a light 
breeze comes from the south, and a thin mist covers the 
horizon ; but when the force of the wind increases, a dense 
fog spreads oyer the surface of the sea, frequently inter- 
cepting for several days the view of the sky. When the 
wind ceases some rain falls, after which the weather for a 
few days continues clear. In September the southerly 
winds become stronger, but they are no longer accom- 
panied by fogs ; the weather is murky, and finally it rains. 
The season of fogs and southerly winds ceases in October, 
when strong northerly winds set in, interrupted at times by 
westerly winds. The fogs do not generally extend to the 
shore either of Sakhalin or the mainland. At Castries Bay 
and Port Imperial the weather is frequently fine, while there 
is a thick fog sea- ward. Whittingham shows that there is 
often a lane of water, free from fog, and three to six miles in 
width along the coast ; the latter radiating the heat received 
from the hot summer sun. 

In the Liman, navigation is obstructed by floating ice at 
the beginning of November, but the Liman is not frozen 
over before January, and can only then be crossed with 
safety. The breaking of the ice takes place in May or the 
beginning of June, and is generally accompanied by rain 
and thunderstorms. South of the Liman ice forms along 
the coast about November or December. It clears out of 
Castries Bay about the middle of May, and out of Port 
Imperial rather later ; in 1856 on the 24th May. The climate 
of Castries Bay is much more unfavourable than that of 
Mariinsk, and the cultivation of cereals is out of the ques- 
tion. When the trees burst into foliage at Mariinsk, deep 
snow still lies in the Bay, and there is no trace of vegetation. 
Port Imperial, though nearly three degrees further south, 
is scarcely more genial. Cold easterly winds depress the 


temperature during summer, or beginning in October, 
westerly and northerly winds frequently cause the thermo- 
meter to fall to — 13° and —24°. On the 4th of June 
1856 snow still covered the mountains, the rivers were 
partly frozen, and yellow violets, anemones, and a corydalis 
were the only flowers. The temperature was 46°. On 
the 19th June the ice had disappeared, birches and oaks 
were in leaf, and there were many flowers. The mean 
temperature between the 19th and 26th June was 64°. 
Going southward along the coast the climate improves, and 
Vladimir Bay (43° 55' north latitude) is covered with ice 
only during two months, from the middle of December to 
that of February. Olga Bay (43° 46' N. lat.) remains 
open throughout the winter, the land-locked careening 
harbour being frozen over however during four months and 
a half. 

8. In the northern part of Sakhalin the climate is even 
more rigorous than at Nikolayevsk, and on the 1st March 
1856, Schrenck observed a temperature of — 61° at the 
Tymy rivulet, in the interior of the island. Vast quantities 
of snow fall, and the sea on the east coast (52° north 
latitude) freezes as far as the eye reaches. In Aniwa Bay 
the cold climate is much less severe, though still sufficiently 
great. The coldest day during the winter 1853-4 was the 
13th January, when the temperature fell to — 13°. The 
middle of the bay is free from ice during the whole of the 
winter, and the ice along the coast is frequently broken by 
the waves. At the end of March all snow had gone, and 
fresh verdure appeared in the middle of May. 




We have already noticed the geological formation of the 
coasts in our geographical description of the Amur and the 
adjoining regions. Our knowledge as yet is very imperfect, 
and mainly rests upon the cursory observations of Permikin, 
Anosof and Maack. Mr. Schmidt is, however, engaged 
at present in geological researches, and his labours cannot 
but throw considerable light upon the geological structure 
of the country. 

The rocks of the Amur regions, as far as explored hitherto, 
appear to belong almost exclusively to the primary, meta- 
morphic and palaeozoic periods. Basalts in large masses 
occur above and below the Komar river, and with trachytes, 
amygdaloid, and lava on the coast of the Channel of Tatary. 
Igneous rocks — granites, syenites and porphyries — occur on 
the Upper Amur about the mouth of the Onon, and between 
the Komar and Dzeya rivers. Lower down they form the 
framework of the Bureya and of the Khoekhtzir mountains. 
We meet with them for a considerable distance above 
Sofyevsk ; at the mouth of the Amur and on various points 
of the coast down to the frontiers of Korea. Metamorphic 
slates and schists are met with near Albazin, opposite the 
Tsagayan, near Ulusu Modon, in the Bureya mountains, 
about the Usuri and Gorin. They have also been dis- 
covered in Sybille and Victoria Bays. The Palaeozoic series 
is represented by sandstones and limestones, which Anosof 
is inclined to believe belong partly to the Silurian formation. 


Carboniferous sandstone abounds on the Upper Amur, from 
Albazin to the Tsagayan ; above the Bureya mountains, and 
below the Gorin. Sandstone has also been discovered in 
Sybille Bay ; limestone in the Bureya mountains and at the 
mouth of the Amur. 

In their structure, the mountains of the Amur offer much 
similarity to the Nerchinsk ore-mountains, and there is 
reason to believe that they are equally rich in mineral 
treasures. But hitherto mining has been carried on in a 
very restricted manner. Lignite or brown coal has been 
discovered in several localities; at the Tsagayan on the 
Upper Amur; a short distance above the mouth of the 
Dzeya ; below the mouth of the Bureya in two places on the 
right bank of the Amur, and near the sources of the Bureya. 
Coals have also been found near Dui on Sakhalin, the only 
place where they are explored at present, at de Langle Bay, 
and in Posyet harbour. This coal is of very fair quality, 
one specimen analysed yielding about seventy-one per cent, 
of carbon. The only other mineral actually explored is gold. 
The Chinese wash it on the Dobikhu, a tributary of the 
Upper Usuri, and it has also been observed on the Upper 
Dzeya and in Posyet harbour. Silver is reported to exist 
in the Ojal mountains, though the natives led Mr. Maack to 
a vein of arsenic, as he believes with a view to deceive him, 
an analysation of which yielded 67*6 per cent, of arsenic, 
31 "1 of iron, and 1*3 of sulphur. Mr. Pargachevsky was 
told that there was silver near the Bijan, a river which 
enters the Amur fifteen miles above the Sungari. Agates, 
carneols, onyxes, and other stones are found in shingle-beds, 
and the Chinese wash pearls in the Bijan and Song. Some 
small pieces of beautiful coral have been picked up in Suflrein 
Bay. Of building stones there is abundance, and the lime- 
stone furnishes greyish marble. 

It remains to be seen how far the throwing open of mining 
to private enterprise will aid in its development. There is 


here, at all events, great scope for profitable investments, far 
preferable to the establishment of artificially-supported 
manufactories. The raising of raw produce — mining, cattle- 
rearing, and agriculture— must for many years remain the 
most profitable source of employment of the colonists. A 
glance at the prosperous condition of Cape Colony, not to 
speak of Australia, is sufficient to convince us of this. 




The results of the botanical explorations of the Amur have 
been given by Carl Joh. Maximowicz in "Primiti® florae 
Amurensis, Versueh einer Flora des Amurlandes," St. Peters- 
burg, 1859. The author has not only furnished us with his 
own researches, during his travels on the Amur, but has also 
incorporated into his* work the observations made by 
Turczaninow,* L. von Schrenck, Maack, b and others (see 
History of Geographical Discovery). Our chief authority 
for the remarks offered in the following pages is therefore 

Statistics of Plants. 

The total number of species as yet found on the Amur 
is nine hundred and four. Of these eight hundred and 
seventy-seven are Phanerogams (viz., six hundred and 
ninety-five Dicotyledons and one hundred and eighty-two 

• Flora baicalenai-dahurica. — Enumeratio plantarum China bore&lis, 
in Bulletin de la Society de Mosoou, X. 1837, etc. 

b Bulletin de l'Academie de St. Petersbourg, T. xv., p. 257. Trees and 
shrubs, described by Bupreoht. See also Appendix in Maack's Travels 
on the Amur. 



Monocotyledons). The following tabular view enables us to 
compare the flora of the Amur with that of some neighbouring 
countries : — 

Total ' 






























Ditto below Bureya 

Mountains. . . 
Trans-Baikal . . . 
The Gobi 



Eastern Siberia . 

Of the 904 species of plants on the Amur, 152 are annual 
or biennial plants, 621 perennial, 89 shrubs, and 42 trees. 
Taking the Lower Amur separately, the figures are 136, 
512, 122, and 40 respectively. The number of trees in 
Trans-Baikal is 19, c that of shrubs 122 ; in the Gobi, shrubs 
49, trees 5 ; d in the neighbourhood of Peking, trees 40, 
shrubs 117 ; and in Eastern Siberia, trees 10, shrubs 63. 

If we compare the flora of the Amur with that of neigh- 
bouring countries, we find that out of the 904 species of the 
Amur, 527 are found also in Trans-Baikal, 293 in Eastern 
Siberia, 276 in the environs of Peking, and 163 in 

Considering the flora of the Amur with respect to species 
having but a limited distribution, we find 143 species of 
plants, or 15*8 per cent, of the total flora, restricted to the 

• Including three not found on the Amur, a species of hawthorn 
(Jlh.polymorpha), the Cembra Fine, and Siberian larch. 

d The trees of the Gobi are a hawthorn, the bird-oherry, a birch, the 
Scotch pine, and Siberian larch. 



Amur ; and they include the following new genera, all of them 

Plagiorhegma dubium, Max. (Berbery family). 
Hylomecon vernalis, Max. (Poppy- worts). 
Phellodendron Amurense, Rupr. (Xantholits). 
Maackia Amurensis, Rupr. & Max. (Pea and Bean tribe). 
Schizopepon bryoniflefolius, Max. (Cucumber family). 
Symphyllocarpus exilis, Max. (Composites). 
Pterygocalyxvolubilis, Max. (Gentian- worts). 
Omphalotrix longipes, Max. (Fig-wort family). 
Imperata (Triarrhena) sacchariflora, Max. (Grasses). 
The last is a sub-genera. 

Fifty-six species are restricted to the Amur and the 
environs of Peking ; 25 tq the Amur and Trans-Baikal ; 40 
to the Amur and Eastern Siberia ; 6 to the ^Lower Amur 
and Japan; 8 to the Amur, Japan, and Northern China; 
29 to the Amur, Trans-Baikal and Siberia ; 34 to the Amur, 
Trans-Baikal, and Northern China ; 7 to the Amur, Trana- 
Baikal, and Mongolia ; 6 to the Amur, Eastern Siberia, and 
Peking ; and 10 to the Lower Amur and North America. 

The remaining 558 species are plants having a more 
extended distribution ; and about one-third of these are found 
in Northern Asia, Europe, North America, and partly within 
the tropics, and one-ninth in Northern Asia and North- 
eastern Europe. Apparently, the statistical data which we 
have communicated, would show, that, out of plants having a 
more limited distribution, there are more species of the Amur 
found in Eastern Siberia and the neighbourhood of Peking, 
than in Trans-Baikal. Such a conclusion would however 
probably be erroneous, for the Lower Amur, where Siberian 
types preponderate, has been examined much more minutely 
than the upper part of the river adjoining Trans-BaikaL 


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Maximowicz distinguisliee" eight regions of vegetation 
along the Amur. In giving thelKchief characteristics we 
refer for more detailed accounts of particular localities to our 
geographical description of the river Amur. 

1. The first region includes the Amur down to Albazin. 
In the valleys the forest is composed of white birch, bird- 
cherry and aspen ; on the mountains and in dry places 
larch and pine prevail ; the spruce and pitch-pines are very 
soarce. The forest is nowhere thick, and there is no under- 
wood. The meadows are of small extent, and resemble the 
steppes of Dauria, the grass growing in tufts and there 
being an abundance of bitter aromatic herbs. 

2. The second region extends down to the Dzeya. Coni- 
ferous woods are scarcer here, and foliferous trees and 
meadows occur more frequently. The oak, elm, ash, lime 
and black birch, which are not found at all above Albazin, 
or only of a dwarfish growth, constitute the forests. The 
steppes on the plateau on both banks of the river bear a 
vegetation of tufty grass and herbs, and are covered with 
shrubs of hazel and cinnamon roses. 

3. The region from the Dzeya to the Bureya Mountains 
forms an immense prairie, with a few groves of trees. 
Forests occur again below the Bureya River, and on the 
mountain-slope grow oaks, birches, walnuts and aspens. 
Maackia amurensis, a tree-like species of the Leguminoeae, 
and the Cork-tree (Phelodendron amurensis) are first 
observed here, and at the fringe of the forest may be seen 
the Amurian vine, which lower down appears more fre- 
quently. The Bureya Mountains form the limit of many 
plants peculiar to the Upper or Lower Amur. The Manchu 
lime, the maples, excepting the Tatar maple, the Manchu 
cedar, the ribbed birch, and many other trees are not found 


to the west of them, whilst the Scotch pine and other plants 
do not extend below them. 

4. The prairie region of the Lower Amur extends to the 
Usuri, and is distinguished from the prairie of the Upper 
Amur by a greater preponderance of grasses and more 
luxuriant herbage, though the number of species of the 
latter is less. Scattered oyer it are trees of large dimensions. 
The prevailing trees are oaks, elms, limes, maples, with 
aspens, bird-cherries, birches, cork-trees and hawthorns. 
Thickets of willows grow along the banks of the river and 
on the islands. 

5. The fifth region extends down to the Gorin. The 
prairie continues for some distance along the left bank of 
the river, but on the right bank thick forests of foliferous 
trees commence at the mouth of the Usuri, where the trees 
indigenous to the Amur country are found of the largest 
dimensions. Cedars, larches and other conifers are confined 
to the mountain summits or northern slopes. 

6. The region hence to Sofyevsk forms a connecting link 
between the foliferous region of the Amur, and that of the 
coast region. The trees typical of the more southern portion 
of the Amur are replaced by Erman's birch, the Lonicera 
and elder-leaved apple ; the white birch, aspen and Acer 
spicatum are more frequent. 

7. The seventh region extends from Sofyevsk to Tebakh, 
where the Amur suddenly turns to the east. Foliferous 
trees are scarcer here, and are restricted to Prunus glanduli- 
folia, a few ash-trees, two species of maples and the elm. 
The hazel frequently forms a thick underwood, but coniferous 
forests predominate. 

8. On the Lower Amur, a few birches and aspens are 
confined to some favourable spots, and the forests, intersected 
"by large tracts of swamp, are composed chiefly of Ayan 
spruce, pitch-pine and larches. 

For further details regarding the distribution of plants on 


the Amur, etc., we must refer to Maximowicz's important 
work ; that gentleman in 1859 for a second time visited the 
Amur, and the plants recently collected by him and others 
will no doubt form a large supplement to his Primitia 
flor® Amurensis. We will proceed now to a consideration 
of the various plants applied to useful purposes, or which 
may become of importance in a commercial point of view. 


An agricultural country, properly so-called, is to be found 
only on the river Nonni, where the Daurians till the soil 
from time immemorial, and in southern Manchuria. Bread- 
stuffs are cultivated to satisfy the wants of the inhabitants, 
and even sufficient for exportation. Here we find four out of 
the five bread-stuffe of China ; Sorghum of various kinds, 
wheat, millet and barley. Most of the rice is imported 
from Mukden ; but the Chinese, settled near the Gulf of 
Manchuria, cultivate it in small quantities. Tobacco of a 
superior quality is grown here, with soy and many other 
plants. In 1812, the number of acres brought under culti- 
vation in the province of Girin was 905,000 acres, and in 
that of the Amur 49,500 acres. 

This, of course, is but a small portion of a country con- 
taining about 193,000,000 of acres. 6 Along the banks of 
the Amur, agriculture, on a larger scale, is carried on only 
in the vicinity of the villages immediately above and below 
the town of Aigun. We meet here with extensive fields 
sown with millet, barley, oats and sometimes Soja hispida. 
Numerous herds of cattle graze on the prairies, and in some 
places, where Imperata sacchariflora abounds, the grass 
is regularly mown and gathered into small stacks with the 
seeds of the Imperata outside, so that the wind may carry it 
away, and it may produce a fresh crop. To each house is 

• The province of Tsitsilcar has an area of 177,000 square miles ; and 
that of Girin, within its present limits, of 135,000 square miles. 


attached a garden, where tobacco, maize, beans, cabbages, 
radishes, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, capsicum, Chinese 
mustard, lettuces, carrots, red pepper and some other plants 
are cultivated in small quantities. We even find some 
flowers, such as hollyhocks, cockscombs, globe-amaranths, 
Indian cress and marigold, which the women put into their 
hair, the red, white and lilac flowers of the hollyhock being 
especial favourites with the fair sex. 

The agricultural produce of Aigun and its vicinity more 
than suffices for the wants of the inhabitants, and millet and 
tobacco of very superior quality are annually exported up the 
river to the Manyargs, and as far as the Russian villages of 
Trans-Baikal, and down the river to the tribes dwelling 
there ; or they are exchanged on the spot itefelf for furs. 

For a distance of two hundred miles above and below this 
agricultural district, we occasionally find a solitary hut of a 
wood-feller or a trader surrounded by a small garden, where 
millet, tobacco and the like are cultivated ; the proprietors 
of these houses are not, however, natives of the soil, but 
generally immigrant Chinese or Manchu. The natives on 
the Lower Amur do not cultivate the ground at all, and it 
is among the Goldi only that we find now and then a small 
garden, never exceeding four hundred to eight hundred 
square yards, where they grow some tobacco, which they 
smoke before the leaf is ripe, pumpkins, cucumbers and 
beans. These gardens are very carelessly attended to, and 
the produce is looked upon rather as a luxury than a 
necessary article of consumption. No hay is mown for the 
few horses which the Goldi keep at the mouth of the Usuri, 
and during winter they must get fodder in the best way 
they can. The Chinese settled among the Goldi have larger 
gardens, and, in addition to the plants mentioned above, they 
grow water melons, potatoes and Chinese onions. 

The further we descend the river, the more exclusive is the 
use of fish, and, during winter, the flesh of some animals. 


The Gold! procure brandy, tobacco, beans and wheaten- 
flour on their annual journeys to Sansin, a town on the 
Sungari. The natives living on the Lower Amur do 
not however undertake these journeys so regularly, and 
are dependent for these luxuries upon the Chinese 
merchants who every year descend the Amur in their well- 
filled barges, and stay during the winter at some village— 
the lowest is Pul — bartering with the natives. Maximowicz 
found the cargo of such a barge to consist of the following : 
— Three varieties of millet; wheaten flour, which the 
merchants generally use themselves; small brown beans 
(Lablab vulgaris) ; white beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) ; large 
red beans ; small white ones, about the size of a pea, with 
blue marbling ; peas ; sorghum grits of a reddish variety ; 
barley; bundles of large-leafed tobacco; sesamum oil (P) 
mostly for their own consumption ; a very small quantity of 
rice, at an exorbitant price; rice brandy; white and 
coloured cotton stuffs, thread, etc. The supply of these 
articles is however very small, and in consequence of the 
high prices demanded the natives cannot often enjoy the 
luxury of vegetable food. 

Previous to the occupation of the country by the Russians, 
the lowest point on the Amur to which the cultivation of 
vegetables extended was Tsyanka, not far from the mouth 
of the Gorin. Here a Chinese merchant owned a small 
garden in which he raised, among other things, spinach, 
onions, coriander seeds and red pepper. The Russian 
colonists who were sent in 1855 from Trans-Baikal, at once 
set about cultivating the cereals of their native country in 
the villages between Mariinsk and Nikolayevsk, and with 
very fair success. Less could scarcely be expected from the 
virgin soil, the hot summer, regularly distributed and not 
very continuous rains, and the dry, fine autumn. Vege- 
tables had been introduced simultaneously with the first 
settlement of the river, and at a horticultural show held in 


1857 at Nikolayevsk, contributions were received from fifty- 
five gardens. Cauliflowers, cabbages, potatoes, carrots and 
other roots had thriven best ; and even in the most un- 
favourable localities, such as Castries Bay and Nikolayevsk, 
where the cultivation of cereals could never be expected to 
be remunerative, very excellent vegetables were produced. 

In addition to these cultivated plants, there are several 
herbs and roots which the native puts in his soup ; but few of 
these would be approved by European palates, or contain 
much nourishment. Most of them are of very indifferent 
taste, and are such as we might gather on a walk through 
any of the lanes of England. Not one of them compensates 
by aroma, tartness or acidity, the total want of spices. To 
this class of plants belong the long-rooted garlic, spear-leafed 
cacalia and the groundsel, the last of which is put into 
soup, in Sakhalin ; the young stems of the water-pepper and 
goosefoot ; Limnanthemum nymphoides ; the sprouts of the 
common mug- wort and Selenga mug- wort, are said to have a 
very fine flavour ; the stems of cow parsnep ; the young 
sprouts of the willow-herb ; the fresh leaves of the red- 
berried alder, as well as several others known only from 
reputation, and probably belonging also to quite common 

Some others are eaten raw or cooked for the sake of the 
mucilage they contain. The small tasty bulb of the Kam- 
chatka fritillary are dug up in large quantities and strung 
upon ropes to dry. The bulbs of the Lilium spectabilis are 
also gathered. Chives and Iceland moss are eaten. Less 
general, and perhaps only for a make-shift, is the use of the 
roots of the obovate Paeony ; of the thick, white roots of 
Flatycodon and Adenophara; as also some others of un- 
known origin which Schrenck found among the Gilyaks on 
Sakhalin. To these may be added the slender-leafed lily, 
the bulbs of which are dug up in large quantities by the 
Daurian Cossacks. In southern Manchuria, the blossoms of 


the yellow lily are said to form one of the dainties of the 
Chinese, who also value highly some mushrooms which grow 
on the trunk of a decayed tree. 

We now proceed to the fruit-trees. These also play a very 
subordinate part in the household of the tribes living there. 
The tree yielding the bird-cherry (Prunus Padus) is generally 
spared by all. The cherries are dried, bruised, stones and 
all, and formed into small flat crumbling cakes of a dark 
violet colour, and a bitter almond-like taste. They are either 
eaten alone or put into the soup. The Gilyaks gather 
large quantities of cow-berries, which abound in their terri- 
tory, and keep them frozen during winter. The Goldi 
collect the water-caltrops and walnuts, which are thrown 
into the fire to crack the shells ; and also of the Manchu 
pine and hazel-shrub. These nuts are eaten however more 
as a pastime by young and old. The Gilyaks may occasion- 
ally be seen with small baskets containing fruit of the 
cinnamon-rose — the Goldi give the preference to the Rosa 
acicularis — of the hawthorn, crow-berries, and Lonicera 
Maximowiczii. A great many other kinds of fruit are 
found; they are generally liked, but only gathered when 
accidentally met with during a walk through the forest. 
Little regard is paid to fruit which does not strike the 
eye by quantity or size, and which, however good its 
flavour, might entail trouble in gathering it. The natives 
are not even aware of the existence of the strawberry and 
dwarf crimson bramble. 

Grapes are found along the Amur from forty miles below 
Aigun to the neighbourhood of Kidzi, and are most abundant 
below the Bureya Mountains. They are blackish-blue and 
nearly half an inch in diameter, but not very juicy. Those 
growing in the neighbourhood of Uinguta are said to be 
superior, and are exported to Peking. Besides the bird- 
cherry (Prunus Padus), there are four species of Prunus, viz., 
Prunus (Cerasus) glandulifolia, with small black cherries. 


spare of flesh, and tart ; the Primus (Padus) Maaokii, with 
small black plums a quarter of an inch in diameter ; and 
Prunus Maximowiczii with small cherries. A wild apricot 
has lately been discovered on the Sungari. The service- 
tree (Sorbus Aucuparia) bears vermilion fruit, ripe about the 
end of August. The small-fruited apple (Pyrus baccata) 
is found along the whole course of the Amur and Usuri, and 
it ripens in September. The Usuri pear-tree bears a small 
fruit about an inch in diameter, and shape of a bergamot, 
ligneous and tart, and of a dirty green, but- on being kept it 
gets brown and soft. At Peking this tree is cultivated. 

Pyrus (Sorbus) sambucifolia, the elder-leaved apple, is a 
shrub found on the Lower Amur and the sea-coast only, and 
bears a large vermilion fruit. The number of edible berries 
is very great. We find blackberries, cloud-berries, the 
crimson and stone bramble, red and black currants, goose- 
berries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, whortle and 
blea-berries, cowberries, berberries, cornelian cherries, and 
the Maximowiczia Ghinensis, a dioecious shrub, with a thin 
aromatic bark, fragrant pink blossoms, and a tart scarlet 
berry ; it climbs up the trees to the height of from twenty 
to twenty-five feet, and is found in foliferous woods below 
the Bureya Mountains. Mulberries are said to exist in 
Southern Manchuria. Mountain apricots with a large red 
fruit grow near Ninguta, and are made into marmalade. 
There is also a kind of small white pear, having an excel- 
lent flavour, and with which the emperor's table is supplied. 


Undoubtedly one of the greatest riches of the Amur 
consists in its abundance of fine timber, which is available 
not only for ship-building, but also supplies some fine woods 
for cabinet work. We will therefore enumerate all the trees 
found along the course of the river, stating at the same time 


their size, and some of the uses to which they are applied by 
the natives. 

Limes. Tilia cordata is found along the whole course of 
the Amur, from the Komar to the neighbourhood of Kidzi, 
and on Sakhalin. Above the Dzeya, the tree generally 
grows on the level sandy banks of the river, and has a 
height of forty feet, with a diameter of two feet. But on 
the lower part of the Amur it grows in foliferous forests 
together with maples and oaks, and attains a height of 
sixty feet, whilst its trunk is three feet and a half in thick- 
ness. The Manchu Lime (T. Manchurica) is met within 
the same limit as the preceding, but its trunk scarcely 
exceeds three-quarters of a foot in diameter. The wood of 
the limes is white and soft, and the Goldi twist the bast 
into ropes. 

Maples. There are four species of maples, Acer spicatum, 
A. Mono, A. tegmentosum, and A. Tataricum. 

The first of these — A. spicatum — is found along the Amur 
below the Bureya Mountains, on the sea coast and on Sakhalin, 
and appears to be rather scarce on the Amur itself. It pre- 
fers moist and shady situations along the fringe of foliferous 
forests and in pine clearings. On the Lower Amur it is a 
fine tree from twenty to thirty feet high, and with a trunk 
six inches thick. Its wood is yellow and hard, and is used 
by the natives in the manufacture of various household 

A. Mono — which takes on the Amur the place of A. trun- 
catum— occupies the same area as the preceding, exclusive 
of Sakhalin. It is most abundant between the Sungari and 
Mariinsk, and grows either in open foliferous forests or on 
rocky mountain slopes. The largest trees observed were 
about fifty feet high, with a trunk two feet in diameter. Its 
wood is excellent, of a yellowish colour, and much harder 
than that of the other maples. 

A. tegmentosum — analogous to the Pennsylvanian maple— 

TIMBER. 301 

is found between the Bureya mountains and Kidzi, but in 
the upper part of this area it is merely a shrub, and only at 
the Usuri it assumes larger proportions. On the banks of 
that river trees hare been observed about thirty feet high, 
with a trunk nine inches thick, but higher up, on the same 
slope of the valley, it is much larger, and trees fifty feet 
in height with a trunk two feet and a half in diameter 
are frequently met with. Its wood is white and rather 

The Tatar maple extends along the Amur from the Eomar 
to below Kidzi, and frequently occurs as a shrub about 
fifteen feet high, on the islands and alluvial banks of the 
river. Below the Bureya mountains it is occasionally met 
with as a small tree about twenty feet high in forests, 
together with oaks and elms. 

The Cork-tree of the Amur (Phellodendron amurense) is 
distributed along the Amur from the neighbourhood of 
Aigun to the village of Onmoi (50° 10' north latitude). 
According to native information, it is found also lower down, 
but in the mountains at some distance from the river. At 
first the Cork-tree is found on the islands exclusively, but 
lower down it grows on the mountain-slopes together with 
other foliferous trees. The largest trees observed on the 
Middle Amur were about fifty feet high, with a straight 
trunk, two feet thick, and a fine and dense top. The bark 
of the older trees consists of two distinct layers, the outer of 
which is above half an inch thick and of the usual cork 
colour ; the inner is one quarter of an inch thick or more, 
and lemon-coloured. Pieces of cork were seen, however, 
among the natives three inches thick. The natives along 
the Middle Amur use the cork to float their fishing-nets, 
and the very firm wood of the tree is made into snow-shoes. 

The Daurian Buckthorn (Ehamnus daurica) occurs in the 
foliferous region of the Lower Amur and in the woods of the 
Middle and Upper Amur. The tree is about thirty feet high, 


and the trunk frequently a foot thick. The wood is very 
hard, of a reddish yellow colour, and beautifully watered. It 
would be eminently fit for cabinet work. 

The Manchu Walnut ( Juglans Manchurica) is found be- 
tween the Bureya mountains and the Komar river, in 
foliferous and mixed forests. The largest trees are about 
sixty feet high, with a straight trunk two feet thick, and 
bare of branches for thirty feet. The wood is very hard. 
Another kind of walnut (J. stenocarpa, Max.), similar to the 
former, is restricted to the hilly tracts, and does not occur on 
the banks of the river. 

Maackia amurensis, Max., is found from above the Dzeya 
to Pul on the Lower Amur. It grows as a shrub on low 
and sandy islands, and as a small tree intermixed with, 
maple, bird-cherry and hawthorn, on mountain-slopes. At 
the Usuri it attains its maximum development, and is here 
above thirty-five feet high, with a trunk one foot in diameter. 
The wood is brown and watered. 

Of Prune* there are four species, viz., Prunus glandulifolia, 
P. Maackii, P. Maximowiczii and P. Padus. 

P. glandulifolia is most frequent on the Lower Amur, and 
is here about forty feet high and one foot thick. The wood 
is soft and white. 

P. Maackii is found in foliferous woods in the Bureya 
Mountains, and on the Lower Amur. It has a straight 
trunk about thirty-five feet high and nine inches thick ; on 
the Lower Amur it is only ten feet high. 

Prunus Maximowiczii is a small tree found in coniferous 
woods on the Lower Amur. 

P. Padusy the bird-cherry, is the most important of all, 
and abounds along the whole course of the Amur and on 
Sakhalin, and on the Upper Amur especially, covers large 
tracts on the islands and banks of the river. At the Usuri 
mouth, trees fifty feet high, and with a trunk one and a-half 
to two feet thick are not scarce. 

TIMBER. 303 

The Hawthorn (Crataegus sanguines) occurs on the whole 
of the Amur and on Sakhalin, either as a shrub or a small 
tree, the latter twenty feet high and with a trunk ten inches 

The apple-trees have been mentioned before. Pyrus 
baccata, the small-fruited apple, is found throughout the 
whole course of the Amur and along the Usuri, on islands 
and in open shrubberies. The Usuri apple-tree is found in 
foliferous forests along the Lower Amur, the Usuri, and ex- 
tends to Korea and northern China. Its maximum height 
is forty feet, and the diameter varies from a foot to five 
inches, the latter being more frequent. 

The Service-tree (Pyrus [sorbus] aucuparia) thrives on 
the whole of the Amur and on Sakhalin. It grows on 
mountain-slopes and occasionally wooded islands. 

Dimorphantus Manchuricus, Rupr. et Max., is a small tree 
in the Bureya Mountains and along the Amur to below the 

The Manchu Ash (Fraxinus Manchurica Rupr.), is found 
along the Amur from Albazin to Kidzi, the largest trees 
occur as usual about the mouth of the Usuri. They are here 
about sixty feet high, with a trunk four feet in diameter. 
The wood is hard, and of good quality. 

The Mongol Oak (Quercus Mongolica, Fisch.), is met with 
first at Albazin, as a shrub ; below the Komar it occurs as a 
stunted-tree, and it is not before we approach the Bureya 
Mountains, that it assumes larger proportions and on the 
Middle Amur is one of the most frequent forest-trees, 
growing together with the bird-cherry and ash-tree on level 
tracts, and with other foliferous trdes on the mountain-slopes. 
On the Lower Amur it is again of dwarfish growth, but on 
the sea-coast, south of Port Imperial, the tree is once more 
highly developed. The largest oaks were about forty feet 
high with a trunk five feet thick, but unfortunately 
generally rotten to the core. In one locality only, in the 


Bureya MountainB, have good, sound oaks been found. But 
as a rule, the oak of the Amur is much inferior to that of 

Out of nine species of Willow found on the Amur, three 
attain the dimension of trees. The early willow (Salix 
precox) is found on the Lower and Middle Amur, at some 
distance from the river, and the diameter of its trunk is fre- 
quently four feet. The Bay-willow (S. pentandra) is 
restricted to the Upper Amur. The great round-leaved 
willow (S. caprea) is found along the whole course of the 
river, eomtimes as a shrub, at others as a tree, with a trunk 
two feet thick. Its wood is very tough and flexible. The 
other willows are found along the whole course of the river, 
and most frequent on its low banks and islands are the 
almond-leaved willow (S. amygdalina), the common osier- 
willow (S. viminalis), the auricled-willow (S. stipularis. 
These grow to the height of fifteen to twenty feet, but are 
not trees. Restricted to the Lower Amur are the weeping- 
willow (S. depressa), the myrtle-leaved willow (S. myrtil- 
loides), and the creeping or bog-willow (S. repens). 

To the natives, the willows are of importance in many 
respects. The trunk of the early willow is hollowed out on 
the Lower Amur and on Sakhalin, and shaped into canoes. 
The thin branches serve for the frame- work of the summer 
or winter habitations. The Goldi manufacture ropes from 
the bast of several sorts, especially the osier, which they use 
for their fishing nets, and for towing their boats. Chips of 
willow wood are used to kindle a fire, a piece of burning 
tinder being put in the midst of it, and the whole is swayed 
to and fro until the flame bursts forth. In rainy weather 
the capillary roots of the willow answer the same purpose. 
These roots form a kind of fungus at the foot of the trunk, as 
far as the water reaches in periods of inundations, and during 
rain ; they are found dry in protected situations. 

The Aspen (Populus tremula) is found along the whole 


TIMBER. 305 

course of the Amur and on Sakhalin, and the tree attains its 
largest dimensions near the TJsuri, where it is fifty feet high, 
with a trunk three, and even four, feet in diameter. 

Poplars (Populus suayeolens) also are found along the 
whole course of the river, but most frequently for a distance 
of one hundred and sixty miles below the TJsuri, where they 
attain a height of forty feet, with a trunk of one foot and a 
half thick. 

Elms. — The mountain elm (Ulmus montana) chiefly 
abounds from the Bureya mountains to the village of Borbi, 
above Mariinsk. On the sea-coast it occurs first to the 
south of Fort Imperial. It is a large tree, forty feet high, 
with a thick and far-spreading top. Varieties of the small- 
leaved Elm (U. campestris) occupy a far wider area, and are 
found from the islands above the Dzeya to nearly the mouth 
of the Amur. The tree attains a height of fifty feet, and has 
a sound trunk from one to four feet thick. The wood is of 
a dark colour and very hard, and may be advantageously 
used as a substitute for oak. 

There are various kinds of Birch, amongst which the 
common or white birch (Betula alba) is the most important. 
It is met with along the whole course of the river, and on 


Sakhalin. In spring, the natives peel off the bark of the 
tree in strips two to four yards in length. The coarse out- 
side of the bark, and the ligneous layers on the inside are 
scraped off. It is then rolled up and softened by hot steam, 



which renders it very pliable. Several of these strips are 
sewn, together, and supply the natives with a portable 
waterproof blanket or mat, extremely useful under many 
circumstances. In winter encampments, when hung across 
some poles before the fire, it shields the traveller against the 
cold winds. In summer, it forms the covering of the rudely 
built huts. It is also used for laying over and wrapping up 
merchandise. And lastly, small canoes, neat baskets, platters, 
cups, and pails, are made of the bark. The wood of this 
birch supplies the material for sledges and various household 

The Daurian birch (B. daurica) differs from the preceding 
by its darkish brown bark, which peels off in lamellaa, and is 
consequently not available for the many purposes of the 
former. It is found along the whole course of the Amur to 
the vicinity of Mariinsk, and grows on mountain slopes and 
grassland, in company with the white birch, oaks, and other 
trees. Its trunk attains a thickness of two to three feet. 

Erman's birch (B. Ermani) is found on the Lower Amur 
in moist localities, and forms a chief feature of the forests of 
Sakhalin. Its trunk attains a diameter of above one foot. 

The ribbed birch (B. costata) found from the Bureya 
mountains to below the Usuri, and has a trunk seven inches 
thick. In addition there are two stunted birches, the 
shrubby birch (B. fruticosa) and Middendorff's birch. 

Alnaster fruticosus, Led. (Alnobetula fruticosa, Rupr.) 
flourishes on the Amur to a degree not noticed elsewhere. 
It generally grows as a shrub having several branches, 
and is twenty feet high, but has also been found in the 
Bureya mountains as a small tree with a straight trunk, about 
three inches thick, and for nine feet free of branches. 

The hoar-leaved Alder (Alnus incana) is found on the 
whole of the Amur and on Sakhalin ; but in more southern 
localities only on northern slopes. It grows as a shrub along 
the bank of the river, and in the level country generally, and 

TIMBER. 307 

on slopes, attains a height of twenty feet, with a trunk half a 
foot thick. 

The Yew (Taxus baccata) exists in several spots on the 
Lower Amur and on Sakhalin as a branchy shrub, three to 
five feet high. In Port Imperial, however, and elsewhere 
along the coast, it is a tree ; and according to the statements 
of the natives it has, at some distance from the river, a trunk 
one foot thick. 

The Siberian Fir or Pitch (Pikhta of Russian travellers, 
Abies Sibirica) is one of the most frequent trees met with 
along the Amur. On its upper course it generally occupies 
with other conifers the more elevated portions of the moun- 
tain slopes ; in the Bureya mountains it is found with cedars 
and larches on the middle of the slope, and still lower down 
the river it descends to the valleys. Its height is fifty feet, 
with a trunk two-thirds of a foot thick. 

The Siberian Spruce (Picea obovata) is found along the 
whole of the Amur, down to the village of Patt (52° 40' 
north latitude). It is most developed in the Bureya moun- 
tains, where it grows near the summits in company with 
Scotch firs. The trunk of the larger trees is about one foot 
thick, and twenty-five feet from the ground bare of branches. 
The tree itself is fifty feet high. 

The Ayan Pitch (Picea ajanensis) is confined to the Lower 
Amur, the sea coast, and the Upper Usuri. The tree has a 
straight trunk, sixty to seventy feet high, and of a diameter 
of two to three feet, and is admirably suited for ship- 

The Daurian Larch (Larix daurica) is abundant along the 
whole course of the river, but especially so in its upper and 
lower part, where it forms a chief component of the forests. 
Trees sixty feet high, and with a trunk three or more feet 
in diameter, are frequent, especially in those valleys and 
plains on the Lower Amur, protected against storms. It is 

x 2 


an equally fine tree on Sakhalin, and well adapted for ship- 

Of the Siberian or Cembra Pine (Pinus Cembra) a stunted 
variety only is found on the Amur itself; but the tree is 
supposed to exist in the neighbourhood of Ninguta, whence 
its nuts are exported to Peking. On the Amur it is re- 
placed by the Manchu Pine, or Cedar of Russian travellers 
(Pinus Manchurica, Rupr.), which extends from the Bureya 
Mountains to Kidzi, and first appears on the sea-coast south 
of Port Imperial It is a fine tree, with a trunk seventy 
feet high, from which deals three feet wide and fifty-six feet 
long may be cut. ^ 

The Scotch Fir (Pinus sylvestris) abounds on the upper 
part of the Amur, but is not met with below the Bureya 

The wood of the Conifers is very valuable to the natives, 
for owing to their very imperfect implements they cannot 
avail themselves of the harder woods, which in many respects 
would be preferable. Of the former they build their houses, 
carve many of their household utensils, and their idols. 
The Gilyaks and natives of the Lower Amur make their 
boats of the Pitch fir or Cedar, and on the Upper 
Amur the Scotch fir answers the same purpose. The bark 
of the larch supplies materials for the roof and walls of the 
summer habitations on the Lower Amur. 

Medicinal Plants. 

In speaking of the Medicinal Plants of Manchuria, the first 
place must of course be assigned to the far-famed Ginseng root 
(Panax ginseng), which the Chinese call Orhota, u e. first of 
all plants. They consider it the most costly produce of the 
earth, diamonds and some other precious stones excepted, 
and ascribe to it the most wonderful healing properties. It 
is vaunted to be a specific in all kinds of bodily ailments, to 


cure consumption when half the lungs are gone ; to restore 
to dotards the fire of youth, and to act as a sure antidote 
against the most powerful poisons. European physicians 
have proved rather incredulous, and according to Richard 
(Botanique Medicale), many common European plants have 
the same properties. On the other hand, Roman Catholic 
missionaries of former and recent times, acknowledge from, 
their own experience the beneficial effects of the ginseng. 
Jartoux (Lettres edifiantes, Paris, 1713) declares it to be 
a first-rate tonic ; and de la Bruniere cured himself of a 
complaint in the stomach, which had resisted even an 
infusion of Peruvian bark. 

At all events the fame of this medicine has spread to the 
Goldi who live on the Amur, and it is known to them as 
Manchu medicine. If we are to credit the statements of 
the missionaries, the prices paid for this root are enormous. 
A single root is worth from £250 to £300 in Manchuria, 
and in China as much as £2,000 are stated to have been 
paid for a pound of it. A ginseng-seeker has to search 
for five, ten, or even fifteen years before he finds a root. 
These extravagant statements have however been completely 
upset by Yeniukof, who ascended the Usuri, and visited the 
very localities where the best ginseng is said to be found. 
At the Imma river he was offered a bundle of from twelve 
to fifteen roots for £4, and on his return the native inter- 
preter procured twenty for £1 10s. The members of the 
Russian Mission at Peking were on several occasions pre- 
sented by the emperor each with half a pound of this 
invaluable root, — a munificent gift were the price really as 
stated by the missionaries. 

The ginseng is found chiefly in the valleys of the Upper 
Usuri up to 47° N. lat., and it prefers moist forests and 
recesses never visited by the rays of the sun. That which 
grows wild is said to be the best, but little of it goes into the 


During summer several hundred Chinese come to seek the 
root, and on an average they find forty plants each. Of 
these, fifteen are «pent in provisions, procured from the 
Chinese settled on the Upper Usuri, and the remainder are 
taken to the ginseng plantations, where a root five inches 
long generally fetches five shillings. The gain of the 
ginseng-seeker is thus about from £6 to £7, with which he 
is enabled to live through the winter, even if he does not 
engage in hunting. It is but exceptionally that his profit is 
more, that is if he finds roots of about eight inches long and 
half an inch thick, for the value of the ginseng is calculated 
in the same manner as that of a diamond. In one of the 
ginseng plantations Veniukof found 12,000 roots in beds. 
The manner of cultivating the plant has been noticed pre- 
viously. When prepared for sale, the leaves are cut off and 
the root is boiled in water, apparently to remove some in- 
jurious quality, and then carefully dried and wrapped up 
in unsized paper. The Chinese on the Usuri are scarcely 
ever without a root, and make use of it boiled in case of 
cold, fever, head-ache or stomach-ache. The Goldi and 
Orochi do not esteem the root so highly, and if by chance 
they find one sell it to the Chinese. 11 

We will now mention some other plants applied to medi- 
cinal purposes by the natives on the Amur. The Manguns 
use infusion of yellow Rhododendron against stomach-ache ; 
the Goldi, for the same complaint, marsh wild rosemary 
(Ledum palustre). The latter take Bock Woodsia (W. 
ilvensis) for pains in the chest, and the roots of the tokose 
herb are considered a cure for diarrhoea, produced by feeding 
on fish. The burnt heads of burdock are laid on ulcers : at 
Peking they are used in a similar manner. Wounds are 

d For detailed descriptions of the Ginseng^ see Nees von Esenbeck's 
Medicinal Plants, Plate 112; C. A. Meyer in Ganger's Repertory for 
Pharmaoy and Practical Chemistry, i. 517. 


covered with agaric. The small buds of a plant called toors 
by the natives, are resorted to by the Gilyaks in case of 
sexual diseases ; they have scarcely any taste, and are slightly 

The ancient doctrine of the Signatura plantaroin is 
borne out by the application of the root of Solomon's seal 
(Polygonatum) for pains in the throat; and that of the 
hand-shaped bulb of an orchid for ulcers. The latter bears 
a great resemblance to the fragrant gymnadenia and is 
called by the Gilyaks Macherlaga-tymyk, i.e., child's hand. 
The Goldi, Gilyaks and other tribes are also in the habit of 
making a wooden model of the limb suffering, which they 
carry about with them attached to the arm or leg, as the 
case may be. 

It would appear, however, that only old women put any 
trust in the use of vegetable medicines. The more en- 
lightened portion of the community resort to the services 
of a Shaman,, by whom a cure, if at all possible, is affected 
with much greater dispatch and certainty. We shall describe 
the ceremonies practised on such occasions when speaking of 
the native inhabitants. But the services of the Shamans 
even are considered inefficient in case of infectious diseases. 
The small-pox has committed dreadful ravages amongst the 
natives since its first introduction by the Chinese. The only 
chance of safety is sought in dispersing through the forests, 
where each family lives for some time, without having any 
intercourse with others. 

Miscellaneous Plants. 

We cannot avoid putting tobacco at the head of plants 
of a miscellaneous character, for the native generally feels its 
want much more acutely than that of food plants. In many 
instances when tobacco cannot be procured, substitutes are 


used, such as mistletoe, the leaves of hare's ear, Limnan- 
themum, and on Sakhalin a kind of moss, Poly stichum spi- 
nulosum — plants Which we recommend to the notice of the 
London tobacconists. 

Among the herbs which are of importance in the household 
of the natives, the common sting-nettle occupies the first 
rank, and next to it hemp. Both grow in large masses in 
the vicinity of every native hut. The natives manufacture 
rope from the nettle. In autumn the stems are cut, soaked 
in water, and during the winter they are kept drying, tied 
up in bundles. On the approach of spring they are split 
with a sharp wedge, then flattened with a piece of wood, and 
shaken until the fibres separate. These are spun into thread 
by the women on a spindle (shewn in the illustration). They 


are afterwards made into ropes by the men. The thread is 
wound on as many spindles as the rope is intended to have 
strands. These spindles are then fixed to a bench, and the 
ends of the thread pulled through a ring fastened to a beam of 
the roof, until they nearly reach the ground. They are 
then fastened to another spindle which is kept suspended and 
revolving until the rope has acquired the necessary firmness. 
The portion thus completed is rolled up, another portion of 
the thread is pulled down, and the operation repeated until 


the rope is finished. Ropes manufactured in this style are 
equal in evenness and strength to the better kind of our 
hemp ropes and cannot be distinguished from them after being 
in use and consequently bleached in the water, for owing 
to the dirty hands of the women, the rope leaves the manu- 
facture quite black. Coloured threads, with which garments, 
etc., are embroidered, are purchased from the Chinese. Dye- 
stuffe are not, however, wanting entirely for colouring furs 
and fish-skin clothing, boots, tobacco-pouches and so forth. 
Bed dye is prepared from a red earth, said to be found in 
small pieces on the sea-coast ; or from a Chinese product 
called Yukha. A fine blue is procured by squeezing out the 
leaves of the CommelynBB, which is even cultivated for this 
purpose in several villages. A decoction of the bark of the 
Alnaster fruticosus furnishes a brownish-yellow. For black 
they use Indian ink. Green is procured from the Satrinia 

Sedge-grass (Calamagrostis purpurea) is generally em- 
ployed for roofing the houses, and in the south for covering 
the conical summer huts. Reeds are worked into matting, 
laid upon the benches in the houses. In addition to these, 
there is another grass which the Chinese consider one of the 
three treasures of Manchuria, sables and the ginseng being 
the other two. We refer to the ula, which during winter 
is placed in the boots to keep the feet warm. In northern 
countries, where severe frosts are of frequent occurrence, it 
is by no means rare among the peasantry, to wrap up the 
feet in hay or straw. The grass used for this purpose must 
be sufficiently strong and elastic to resist being crushed 
together by the pressure of the foot. Several varieties of 
the Carices would answer these requirements, and a 
specimen of "ula" which the Paris Society for Accli- 
matisation presented to the Russian Academy, in reality 
belonged to the species Carex, or at all events to the 

314 BOG-MOSS. 

Bog-moss is used for calking of boats and houses. The 
fungus used for tinder is procured chiefly from the trunks 
of larch trees. The Goldi and Manyargs, in lieu of it moke 
use of the Khaponticum atriplicifolium, and in case of 
emergency resort to dry decayed willow wood- 





The country of the Amur is by no means distinguished for 
having many mammals peculiar to it ; for if we except two 
species of field-mice (Arvicola Amurensis and A. Maximo- 
wiczii) we only met with animals which occur also in other 
regions of the globe. It is remarkable however that animals 
indigenous to regions far removed in latitude meet here. 
The Bengal tiger, for instance, is a constant inhabitant of the 
country up to 51° of north latitude, and on its predatory 
excursions to the left bank of the Amur, to 53°, it feeds 
upon the reindeer, seals and the Delphinapterus. We also 
find here the Antelope crispa, and the Racoon dog, natives 
of Japan and China. The stag ranges here to 56°, the wild 
boar to beyond 52°, and the badger to 53°, their extreme 
limits in Europe being 63°, 55°, and 54° respectively. On 
the other hand, animals peculiar to the Arctic regions 
extend further south in the Amur countries than else- 
where. The polar Pika hare, which in Europe is not 
found to the south of 50° north latitude, is met with on 
the Amur under 47° ; and the reindeer and glutton, whose 
extreme limits in Sweden and the Altai are 50° and 60° 
respectively, are found here to 49°, and on Sakhalin to 
46°. The white whale comes from 10° to 15° further 
to the south than in the Ob or Yenisei. Recent re- 
searches on the Amur have further shown that some animals 
have a much wider longitudinal range than was believed 
formerly. The common European hedgehog, the eastern 



limit of which was believed to be the Ural Mountains, 
inhabits the prairies of the Amur ; and at its mouth we find 
a bat, Yespertilio mystacinus, which was believed not to 
exist beyond the Ukraine. 

Another peculiarity in the Mammals is the prevalence of 
dark colours. It had been previously noticed with respect 
to the sables and squirrels of Siberia, that the further we 
proceed towards the east, the darker is the colouring of 
their furs. But on the Amur the same holds good with 
very many other animals, as the badger, wolf, fox and 
hedgehog. The squirrels and sables of the Amur are never- 
theless of a darker colour than those near the sea of Okhotsk 
or in Sakhalin, and the polar Pika hare increases in dark* 
ness as we proceed towards the south and west. 

The following is a complete list of all Mammals hitherto 
discovered on the Amur. 

. Vulgaris . . 





Tamias . 
Mus . . 

Siphneua . 
Arctomys . 
Lepus . . 

Lagomys . 
. Vespertilio. 

Vesperugo . 
. Canis . . 

Striatals . 
Amurensis, rutilus 

a^T^filin^ Max- 

Asphalax . 
Bobao ;. . 


Bed or oommon 

Flying squirreL 
Ground squirrel. 

Field mice. 

Changing or Al- 
pine hare. 
Polar Pika hare. 


Mystaoimus, Dau- \ 
bentonii VBats. 

Borealis ) 

Auritus .... Horse-shoe bat. 

Lupus, alpinus, vul- Wol£ red wok; 
pes, prooyonoi- fox, raooon- 
des, familiaris . dog, dog. 









Mustek , 

Ursus . 
Gulo . . 
Meles . 
. Bos . . 
Ovis . . 
Cervus . 

. Equus 
. Sus . . 
, Phooa » 

, Lynx, tigris, irbis, Lynx, tiger, pan- 

domestioa . . . ther, cat. 
Zibellina, Sibirica, Sable, polecat, 
erminea, vulga- ermine, weasel, 
Vulgaris .... Common otter. 

. Marina Sea otter. 

Arctofl Brown bear. , 

Borealis .... Glutton. 

Taxus Badger. 

Europseus, auritus Hedgehogs. 
Vulgaris, pigmaeus Shrews. 

. Taurus Ox. 

, Aries Sheep. 

Crispa Antelope. 

Capreolusjtarandus, Roe, reindeer, 

elephas, alces stag, elk. 

Moschifera . . . Musk deer. 
. Caballus, asinus . Horse, ass. 
. Scrofa, domestics . Boar, pig. 
, Nummularis, bar- Seal, sea-calf, 
bata, Ochotensis, Okhotsk, and 
equestris . 

Trichechus . . Rosmarus . , 

Otaria . . . Ursina. . . 

Getacbab • . . Balaena . . . Australia . . 

Balaenoptera . Longimana . 

Delphinapterus Leucas . . 

Total, thirty-six genera with sixty-one species, 

ribbon seal. 
Ursine seal. 
White whale. 

Of domesticated animals there are the dog, the reindeer, 
the horse, ass and mule, the ox, the sheep and the cat. The 
dog is the most widely distributed. Among the Goldi and 
other tribes of the Lower Amur and Sakhalin, it is used as 
a beast of draft ; among the Manchu and Chinese to guard 
the houses, and among all to hunt.* Its skin supplies a 

• The dogs are harnessed to the sledges in pairs, preceded by a dog 
acting as leader. Neither whips nor reins are used, the occupant of 
the sledge directing them exclusively by his voice. These animals 


material for dress. The reindeer appears to have been much 
more widely distributed formerly than at present, for we 
now find it as a domesticated animal only among the 
Orochons of the Upper Amur and the Oroke of Sakhalin. 
There is even a tradition among the Goldi and Manguns 
that they also had reindeer in times long gone, but lost them 
in consequence of an epidemic, and were driven thereby to 
seek their sustenance in fishing. The very name of the 
Tunguzians of the sea-coast — we allude to the Orpchi, 
testifies this fact, for Oro or Oron is the Tunguzian name 
for reindeer, and Oronchon, Orochi, or Oroke, simply mean 

The Tunguzians north of the Amur keep reindeer in 
larger numbsrs, and with their herds cross the Ud and Tu- 
gur. They have occasionally supplied the Russian garrison at 
Nikolayevsk with reindeer fresh meat, and also find the 
necessary animals for the postal service to Udsk and Ayan, 
and likewise train some of the domesticated to hunt the 
wild ones. The huntsman retains the decoy by a strap, 
and when the wild deer approach, he is enabled with his bow 
to commit great havoc before they are aware of the prox- 
imity of their enemy. Among the Orochons of the Upper 
Amur, the reindeer is used as a beast of burthen, and the 
Oroke of Sakhalin make it draw the sledges during winter. 

Horses are numerous among the Manyargs, who use them 
as beast* of burden. They appear to have come originally 
from the Russian Cossacks of the Shilka and the Argun, and 
even now the Manyargs frequently procure horses from the 
Russians, and sell them to the Chinese and Manchu. The 

are very intelligent. M. Maack one morning missed his pots which he 
had left full of meat the evening before, and, on search being made, 
they were found empty in the forest, several dogs prowling about 
them. They had evidently feared being interrupted in their meal ; and 
to avoid this, carried the pots off, to consume the contents at their 


breed is rather small, but robust and strong. Among the 
Manchu and Chinese, the horse is used, as in Europe, for 
riding, draft, and for carrying loads. The communication 
between Tsitsikar, Aigun, and the Sungari is kept up with 
horses, and the mountains across which the road leads from 
Aigun, are known to the Birars as " Morre-urra," or horse 
mountains. Among the Goldi there are but few ; those 
which they kept at the Usuri mouth have recently (in 1855) 
been destroyed by tigers. Asses and mules are reserved by 
the Manchu and Chinese for riding. The pig abounds 
among the Manchu, Chinese, and Daurians, and the Goldi 
of the Sungari. It is scarcer amongst the Goldi of the 
Amur, and even more among Olcha, who only now and then 
procure one from a Manchu trader. The Russians had 
introduced some pigs in 1854 and 1855, but in 1856 they 
had either been killed or had gone astray. 

Horned Cattle are kept only in the neighbourhood of the 
agricultural settlements on the Amur, the Sungari and Usuri, 
where they find excellent food in the prairies. They are 
large and strong, and employed mostly in agriculture. 
Numerous herds have been recently imported by the Russians, 
and there will, no doubt, be in time a sufficiency to supply 
the garrisions with fresh meat throughout the year. Sheep, 
strange to say, are not reared on the Amur; though the 
natives are well acquainted with sheepskins through the 
resident Manchu and Chinese merchants, who hold them in 
high esteem. The Russians in 1856 had not yet introduced 
the sheep. The nomadic life of many of the Amur tribes is 
not favourable generally to cats, but among the more sta- 
tionary Goldi, Manguns, and Gilyaks, puss is a great pet. 
Since the arrival of the Russians, cats are easy to be had, but 
in former times, when the only supply came through the 
Manchu, a cat fetched a high price, and even then castrated 
Toms only came into the market. To these domesticated 


mammals, we may add the ermine, which the Gilyaka keep 
in their houses to catch rats. 

We now proceed to those animals which the natives hunt, 
sometimes for the sake of the furs or skins, sometimes for the 
flesh, and sometimes for all together. At the head of these 
we place the tiger, which is said to be frequent on the Sun- 
gari and Usuri. This beast of prey is naturally much 
dreaded and regarded with great superstition ; but neverthe- 
less the Goldi and Manguns dare face it, and when they 
succeed in killing one, sell the skin to the Manchu. On the 
Lower Amur the tiger is very rare, and the Gilyaka are even 
more superstitious with regard to it than their neighbours 
higher up. No instance is known of their having killed a 
tiger, and they look upon it as a kind of bogy who appears 
to individuals who have committed an evil action. The 
remains of persons killed by a tiger are interred on the spot 
without any observance of religious ceremonies. They 
believe, in fact, in a migration of souls in which the tiger and 
bear play a part, and this belief is typified in some of their 
idols, which are half beast half man. Occasionally the tiger 
crosses over to Sakhalin. The panther is met within the same 
limits as the tiger, but more rarely. Similar superstitions are 
entertained with regard to it, and even the Goldi do not dare 
to hunt the creature. The only other animal of the genua 
felis is the Lynx, which is found in the forests of the Amur 
and Sakhalin ; but is very scarce. Its Air is highly valued, 
and a Gilyak in possession of one does not wear it, but pre- 
serves it as a kind of curiosity, which confers on the owner 
the reputation of great wealth. Sometimes a kind of cap is 
made of it for the women. 

Next to the tiger and panther, the most formidable beast 
is the bear (TJrsus arctos) which is found in a black and light 
brown variety, the former prevailing. Another variety with 
a white collar (U. oollaris Gadd.) or with spots on neck and 
breast is also to be met with. The Ursus maritimus has 



never been seen, but the light variety of the IT. Arctos is 
often confounded with it. The bear inhabits the mountain- 
ous districts of the region of the Amur and Manchuria and is 
never so good-natured as on Kamchatka. Feared as a power- 
ful beast of prey it enters strongly into the religious ideas of 
the natives, who frequently catch it alive and confine it in a 
cage. But this we # have referred to at length elsewhere. 

Of all animals valued for their fur, the Sable is the most 
esteemed. It is found along the whole of the Amur, and 
varies in colour between black and light brown. The best 
black sables are at the headwaters of the Gorin, Amgun, and 
Dzeya. As we proceed to the east or south, it deteriorates, 
and on Sakhalin is almost worthless. On the Argun and 
Upper Amur the animal has, become extinct, but the hunters 
find compensation- in the great number of squirrels. b The 
polecat abounds in the hilly tracts north of the Lower Amur, 
and is trapped sometimes in the snares set for sables, to the 
great annoyance of the hunters. The weasel exists in the 
same locality, but is very rare. The ermine again has a wider 
range and extends to Sakhalin. The common otter is not 
numerous. Its Air is highly prized by the Manchu and 
Chinese, and next to sables, supplies the most important 
article of trade on the part of the natives. Schrenck also 
noticed a sea-otter (Enhydris marina), but it is not hunted 
by the natives. The fox ranks next in importance to the 
otter, as other fiirs are either too scarce or of no great value. 
It occurs in all varieties, black, red, and crossed. 

The skin of the wolf is thought very highly of. This 
animal chiefly preys upon reindeer, and in the prairies, 
upon roes. Sometimes, famished herds of wolves approach 
the villages of the natives to kill the dogs. The red-wolf 
(Canis Alpinus) is generally left alone from a superstitious 
apprehension, dictated probably by the fact of this creature 

* The Marten (Mustek marten) has not been found on the Amur, but 
sometimes a light-coloured variety of sable is confounded with it. 



traversing the forests in herds, often very numerous. The 
winter skin of the Racoon-dog is highly valued by Manchu 
and natives, and during summer the animal is killed only 
for the sake of its flesh. The badger, of a darker colour 
generally than in Europe, is most abundant in the prairies, 
and does not extend to Sakhalin. The glutton, in a dark and 
light variety, appears throughout in the. mountainous tracts 
wherever there are rein-deer. 

Squirrels are numerous, especially so on the Upper Amur, 
where, too, they are of superior quality. Annually in 
September and October, the Cossacks of the Argun and 
Shilka disperse in small hunting parties, and every hunts- 
man calculates on bringing back several hundred skins. The 
squirrel during winter varies in colour; some are darkish 
grey, others brown, and some almost black, these latter 
being considered the most valuable. By the Russians this 
difference of colour is ascribed to variety of food. The black 
squirrels live upon mushrooms, of which they gather stores 
for the winter ; the brown ones feed upon the cones of the 
cedar and other conifers, and the reddish variety upon 
hazelnuts. As a rule, squirrels abound most where sables 
and polecats, who prey upon it, are about. Ground-squirrels 
are found on the TJsuri ; Hares along the whole course of 
the Amur. The Bobac is esteemed not only for its fur, 
but also for its fat. Among the ruminating animals 
an Antelope (A. crispa) is the most interesting; it is 
found only in the mountains near the sea-coast, and is 
alluded to by travellers as a wild goat. The Roe abounds 
on the Amur as far as the Gorin, and is occasionally met 
with down to the first Gilyak villages. It is hunted chiefly 
in Autumn for the sale of its flesh and skin. The Stag 
is equally abundant on the Upper Amur, and is the most 
valued game of the Orochons, Manyargs and Birars. Its 

c The Polar fox (Canis lagopus) is not found on the Amur. 


flesh, fresh or dried, constitutes with them a chief article of 
food ; the skin is manufactured into garments, and the soft 
antlers are sold to Chinese and Russians, the former con- 
sidering it a very effectual confortative. This animal is less 
important to the tribes below the Bureya, who depend more 
exclusively upon fishing for their sustenance. The Elk is 
the largest and most widely distributed of all ; and for that 
reason the Tunguzians simply call it Buyu or Boyun, that 
is the " Animal." It is particularly numerous on the 
Upper Gorin, where most of the Samagers dress in elk-skins. 
The flesh is eaten. The musk-deer is most abundant in the 
coniferous woods along the Amur and on Sakhalin. The 
skin is made into clothing, and the flesh eaten, though not 
very much liked. The thin tubular bones of the legs are 
made into arrow heads. Reindeer are found wild in all 
mountainous districts north of 50° N. lat. and on Sakhalin. 
The wild boar is most frequent in the prairie region; its 
flesh is eaten and the skin converted into covers or blankets, 
used to cover the summer tents or in travelling. Of smaller 
animals the rats alone deserve to be mentioned specially. 
It is owing chiefly to the rapacity of the Mus decumana that 
the Tunguzians built their store-house on four poles, to keep 
the contents beyond its reach ; and among the Goldi the 
Manchu are nicknamed " Singare," i.e., rats, on account of 
the rapacity with which they exact tribute. 

Of aquatic mammals, the Seals are the most important. 
The animal is killed with harpoons, or in the winter, when 
the Liman is frozen over, its retreat, when venturing upon 
the ice, is cut off, and it is killed with sticks. The flesh 
and oil serve for food for man and beast, the skin is used for 
clothing ; and that of the sea-calf, being very stout, is cut 
into thongs, or boots are made of it. The common seal 
ascends the Amur as far as the village Yrri, 51° north 
latitude. The wMle abounds in the Channel of Manchuria, 
but is only got by the natives of Sakhalin when washed 

t 2 

324 BIRDS. 

ashore. They sell the oil to the Japanese, and make use of 
the whale-bone for their sledges, bows and snow-shoes. The 
white whale (Delphinapterus Leucas) appears in May in 
large shoals north of the Liman, and the Gilyaks kill a great 
many with their harpoons. When the Amur is free of ice 
it ascends the river to Yrri. The Fin-fish is sometimes 
washed ashore, and the Gilyaks give the flesh to their dogs, 
and use the bones for the soles or keels of their sledges. 
Walrus teeth are procured sometimes by the Gilyaks from 
their northern neighbours or the Russians. They are not 
however much in demand, as the antlers of the elk and rein- 
deer suffice for their wants. 


The birds of the Amur belong for [the most part to 
species which are common also to Siberia and Europe, but 
in addition to these, we meet with some birds of passage, 
natives of southern and south-eastern Asia, China, Japan, 
the Himalaya, the East Indies, Philippine Islands and even 
Australia and South Africa. Seven-tenths of the birds are 
found in Europe, two-tenths in Siberia, and one-tenth in the 
tropical and sub-tropical regions to the south. Among the 
birds found in Siberia, there are, however, some which may 
be more properly assigned to America; for instance, the 
Canada woodcock and the water ouzel (Cinclus Pallasii), 
and, as might be expected from the close proximity of the 
two continents at Behring Straits, there are several birds 
common to the east and west coasts of the Pacific, belonging 
to the genera Mormon, Una and Phaleris. With regard 
to land-birds this affinity is however scarcely perceptible. 
The ornithological fauna owes some of its more peculiar 
features to a number of birds of more southern latitude, 
which do not extend to Europe or Siberia. Acanthylia 
cauducata, and Zosterops chloronatas, Australian birds, visit 

BIRDS. 325 

the Amur. "We find the Pericrocotus cinereus, of a group 
otherwise represented only within the tropics ; the Ardea 
virescens, a native of tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia 
and America ; the Ardea cinnamomea, of southern Asia. Of 
Chinese birds, there are the ring-pheasant, the Mandarin- 
duck, the Cochin-china oriole, the Cuculus sparverioides, 
(a cuckoo), Caprimulgus Jotaka (night-jar), Emberiza per- 
sonata (a bunting), Sturnus cineraceus (a starling), Pastor 
sturninus (starling ouzel), the Turdus daulius and T. 
chrysolaus (thrushes), Salicaria Aedon (red wren), Musci- 
capa cinerea-alba and M. hylocharis (fly-catcher), and 
probably several others. The laughing dove, which, in 
Europe, is not found beyond the Balkan and Southern Russia, 
extends on the Amur to 51° north latitude. The white stork 
frequents the Amur, though not met with in Siberia. The 
Alpine accentor which does not extend beyond central 
Europe, and is wanting in Siberia, frequents the Amur, and 
even reaches the sea of Okhotsk. The Pica cyana of Spain, 
China and Japan, also occurs on the Amur. These birds 
of tropical and sub-tropical regions, are, of course, most 
abundant at the southern bend of the Amur, about the mouth 
of the Sungari and Usuri, but, advancing along the valley of 
the river, some of them reach Dauria and Mariinsk. It 
would be in vain, however, to look for them on the eastern 
slope of the coast range, in Castries Bay, or even the more 
southern Port Imperial. 

The number of stationary birds on the Amur is not very 
large, owing to the excessive cold during winter, and the 
great fall of snow on the lower part of the river. Schrenck 
gives the following list of birds as stationary on the Amur 
below the Gorin, the result of two years' observation by 
himself and Maack. 

The goshawk ; short-eared owl, hawk-owl, little owl ; five 
species of wood-peckers; the common and white- winged 
cross-bill ; four species of tits ; the nut-hatch ; the two jays ; 

326 BIRDS. 

the magpie ; the nut-cracker ; the carrion crow, Japanese 
crow and raven ; the creeper ; the water-ouzel ; white grouse ; 
grouse ; Canada woodcock, and hazel hen. To these may be 
added a few birds for localities where there is open water 
also during winter, most of them probably old individuals, 
viz., the white-tailed eagle, the wild duck, golden eye, and 
Phaleris cristatella ; and the following which arrive in 
autumn for a shorter or longer period:— the snowy owl; 
the bullfinch, pink bullfinch, pine gros-beak and redpole. 
We have thus named all those species, thirty-nine, which 
are met with during winter. There are naturally several 
others which escaped notice. The birds of passage generally 
arrive at the -end of April or during May, and leave in 
September and October. It is a remarkable fact, that they 
come generally later to Nikolayevsk on the Lower Amur 
than to the town of Yakutsk, nine degrees further to the 
north. The cuckoo, for instance, is heard at Nikolayevsk 
about the 28th May, at Yakutsk between the 15th and 21st. 
The geese arrive at the former place on the 2nd May, but 
at Yakutsk as early as the 26th April. Many other in- 
stances are quoted by Maximowicz. The cause of this late 
arrival of birds of passage is to be sought for in the 
climatological and orographical features of the Amur 
country and adjoining regions. The Lower Amur is remark- 
able for its large 'quantities of snow, and at Nikolayevsk it 
remains on the ground until the beginning of June. The 
seasons above the Usuri are more favourable ; but to the south 
is the snow-covered Shan-alin, which arrests the progress of 
the birds. These unfavourable circumstances do not exist 
on the Upper Amur and in Trans-baikal, where little snow 
falls, and where there are no high mountains to the south 
offering obstacles to birds proceeding to Northern Siberia. 

The feathered tribe are not of very much importance in 
the household of the native tribes. The Manchu keep 
fowls and swan-geese, and the Russians introduced pigeons 

BIRDS. 327 

in 1855. The natives on the Lower Amur sometimes keep 
eagles, kites, owls, hawks or jays captive. The tail feathers 
of the two former are used to wing their arrows. They are 
glad to see chimney-swallows build in their houses. Wood- 
cocks, grouse, all kinds of aquatic birds are caught by the 
natives and eaten. 

In conclusion, we give a tabular view of all birds described 
in Schrenck's "Reisen," vol. i. part 2. The last column gives 
the number of species supposed to exist on the Amur, 
though not yet actually found. Sakhalin has been included. 



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Fish and Reptiles. 

Fish yield to the natives one of the chief articles of their 
food, and, indeed, on the Lower Amur, almost the only one. 
The skin is made into dresses, and the oil supplies the 

In spring, they ascend the rivers to spawn ; and remain 
until about August, and then descend again towards the sea. 
It is in autumn that the native procures his chief supply of 
fish. Having watched, in spring, the channels by which 
the fish ascend, he lies in wait for their return ; for it has 
observed that they always come back by the same channels. 
The number of fish is prodigious, and there are many kinds 
not known in Europe. Sturgeons and salmon of extraor- 
dinary size are the most important. We find here the 
common sturgeon (Accipenser sturio), the kaluga andbieluga 
of the Russians (A. orientalis and A. huso), the grayling 
(Salmo thymallus), Salmo lagocephalus, S. Proteus, trout 
(S. lense), and chad (Silurus). Of smaller fish there are 
carp, pike, and perch, the eel pout (Encheliopus lota), bream, 
and many others. Along the coast, cod and plaice are the 
most valuable, especially the former. 

Fresh- water turtles are found at the mouth of the Usuri, 
and their flesh is much relished by the natives. Among 
the reptiles there is a poisonous viper. Gerstfeldt enumerates 
nine genera of reptiles, with fourteen species, viz., Zootoca 
(lizards), Eremias, Coelopeltis (adders), Vipera, Trigono- 
cephaly, Trionyx, Bufa (toads), Rana (frogs), and Triton. 

Insects, etc. 

About one thousand species of insects have been hitherto 
collected on the Amur, and among them are above three 


hundred, new ones, including of butterflies alone thirty-five. 
The proportionate number of new species is consequently 
very much greater than that of plants, mammals, or birds, 
and with the insects also we find representatives of distinct 
types. In the prairies of the southern Amur, where various 
Golias and VanesssB bask in spring, we meet in July, 
according to Radde, the splendid Papilio Maackii, and 
whilst about noon the widely distributed Aglia Tau darts 
rapidly along, or large species of Limenites hide in the thick 
foliage of the oak, there buzzes at dusk a large Saturnia. 
The insect fauna of the Amur has, in fact, affinities with 
that of Central Europe, Dauria, and in the south, with that 
of subtropical regions. Among others we find here a gigan- 
tic moth of the genus Tropaea, which has been found in 
Southern China, and a variety in the East Indies and North 

In the forests of the Bureya mountains and along the 
TJsuri the innumerable gad-flies are a great plague to man 
and beasts. On a fine summer evening, when there is no 
wind, they appear in swarms, and after a rain, gnats and 


flies. No animal is safe against their attacks, however thick 
its skin, and they often torment it to such a degree, that it 
is unconscious of the approach of the huntsman, who thus 
makes it a more easy prey. Beforeretiring to rest it is abso- 
lutely necessary to smoke these insects out of the tents, and 


then close it hermetically. This is the only sure way of 
obtaining a night's rest. The Goldi and Orochi have small 
portable sleeping tents, which are fastened to two poles 
or trees, as shewn in our engraving. As a protection 
against the sting of these insects, a veil is worn over the face, 
while a thin cloth also covers the head and neck. The 
Chinese, when working in their fields, fasten a small piece of 
burning tinder to a ring, which they wear round the head, 
to keep off these plagues. 

Pearls (Unio dahurica) are found in some of the rivers, 
and have been explored hitherto for the benefit of the Chinese 
Government exclusively. 

The following is a summary view of the insects, etc., 
described by Gerstfeldt in Maack's work on the Amur : — 

I. Insects. 

(a). Bhopalocera, in 27 genera, with 72 species. 
(6). Heterocera in 55 genera with 69 species. 
II. Myriapoda : the genera Julus, 3 ; Platydesmus, 1 ; 
Craspedosoma, 1 ; Arthropomalus, 1; Lithrobius, 
1. Total, 5 genera, 7 species. 

III. Crustace® : the genera Cypris, 1 ; Cymothoa, 1 ; 

Glammarus, 8; Astacus, 1. Total, 4 genera, 11 

IV. Platodes : the genera Planaria, 3 ; Clepsine, 1 ; Ne- 

phelis, 1 ; Aulacostomum, 1. Total, 4 genera, 

6 species. 
V. Mollusc®. 

(a). Pectinibranchia : the genera Paludina, 3 ; Bythi- 

nia, 3 ; Hydrobia, 1 ; Melania, 1 ; Valvata, 4. 

Total, 5 genera, 12 species. 
(4). Pulmonata : the genera Limax, 1 ; Arion, 1 ; 

Vitrina, 1 ; Succinea, 1 ; Helix, 20 ; Bulimus, 2 ; 

Achatina, 1 ; Pupa, 3 ; Auricula, 1 ; Limnaeus, 8 ; 



Physa, 2 ; Planorbis, 10 ; Ancylus, 1 ; Choanom- 
phalus, 1 (a new genera). Total, 14 genera, 53 
(c). Pneumopoma : the genus Acicula, 1. 
(d). Pelecypoda : The genera Cyclas, 3 ; Pisidium, 2; 
Unio, 5 ; Anodonta, 3. Total, 4 genera, 13 species. 
Total Molluscae, 24 genera, 79 species. 






The native population of the Amur, even if we include emi- 
grant Chinese and Manchu, is far from numerous. It may 
be estimated at 24,000, for the whole of the territory at 
present in possession of Russia. With two exceptions, the 
tribes of the Amur belong to the Tunguzian stock. The 
language of the Gilyaks, on the Lower Amur, differs from 
the Tunguzian dialects along the river ; but the features of 
these Gilyaks are still Mongol, they have small obliquely set 
eyes* prominent cheek bones, and scanty beards. With the 



Ainos on Sakhalin, the language differs both from the Tun- 
guzian and Gilyak ; their features are decidedly not Mongol, 
and they are distinguished by a great profusion of hair. 

In order to enable our readers to judge of the close affinity 
between the various Tunguzian dialects, and the differences 
existing between Tunguzian, Gilyak, and Aino, we append a 
short vocabulary. 





Nerchinsk. 1 


Mancti u.' 


























Four .... 














aihne ' 








; yhampe 




• .. 






.. .. 



atui (rar) 

I choiaa 








| wakka 




' .. .. 



.. . 


Reindeer . 








Thunder. . 








I mul 









1 or aheta 

1 Klaproth, Asia Pol: 


■ Maack, Trarela on the Amnr. • Tronaon (Barraconta Bay). 

4 Furet, Letters tur ! 

'Archipel. Japonais (Joncqoiere Bay). 1 
tier's Vocabalarinm der Aino Sprache, Vienna, 1851, and other works by the | 

* La Peronae, Pflzmi 

> same author. 



The Tunguzian tribes either are nomads, keeping herds of 
reindeer or horses, or they subsist chiefly upon the produce 
of their fisheries. The reindeer Tunguzians are called 
Oronchon or Oroke, a word signifying reindeer-keepers, and 
are met with on the Upper Amur, and on Sakhalin. Among 
the other tribes, a tradition prevails of their having owned 
reindeer at some remote period ; and there is one tribe along 
the sea-coast still called Orochi, or Orochon. The Manyargs 
and the kindred Birars, and Solons, on the Nonni, who 
occupy the vast prairies above the Bureya mountains, keep 
large herds of horses. The Goldi, Olcha (Manguns), Gilyaks, 
Orochis of the sea-coast, and Ainos, are fishermen, but are 



hunters also ; and the Goldi, especially those settled on the 
Sungari, cultivate the ground to some extent. It is, however, 
only the Manchu and Chinese, and the Daurians living 
amongst them on the Middle Amur, who till the ground to 
a larger extent, the Daurians doing so even at the time the 
Russians first appeared on the Amur. At that period their 
settlements extended into Dauria,* whilst at the present day 
they are but rarely found above the Dzeya. 

The Chinese classify the natives of the Amur according to 
their way of dressing the hair. The Goldi, and others who 
have assumed the habit of shaving the head are called Twan- 
moa-tze, that is, " people who shave the head" ; the tribes who 
use fish-skins, as one of the chief materials for making their 
garments, are called Yu-pi-ta-tze ; the Olcha and others on the 
Lower Amur are called Shang-moa-tze, i.e., long-haired 
people, and the Orochi, Elle-iao-tze, red-haired people. There 
are, besides, Chinese, who have fled to the wilds of the 
Usuri, and are called Kwang-kung-tze, that is, people 
without family. In the Chinese geography, we find the 
following tribes enumerated as being tributary. The Nair, 
Geikere and Hushihar, on the rivers Hulha and Sungari 
(they are registered as soldiers) ; the He-tzin-hara, on both 
banks of the Sungari and Amur ; the Edengara, below the 
former on the Usuri; the Mulin, a tribe on the Usuri; 
and the Kilerkhaji, on the Upper Gorin. All these 
seem to be tribes of Goldi. The Feiaka (Yiyake) and 
Lerkoy e are identical probably with the Olcha ; the Tsiagara, 
on the sources of the Niman are the Orochi of the sea-coast ; 
the Tsiler (Eiyakla) are the Gilyaks. Another tribe, the 
Ewiara, live on the frontiers of Korea, on the north bank of 
the Tumen river, and these are probably also OrochL On 
the Upper Amur, the Chinese enumerate the Dakhor 
(Dagor or Daurians), the Oronchons, the Solons and the 
Builar (Birars). 

* That portion of Transbaikal, east of the Yablonoi Khrebet. 




Reverting specially to the native tribes now subject to 
Russia, with a view to estimate their numbers, we obtain the 
following results : — The Oronchons of the Upper Amur num- 
bered, in 1856, two hundred and six individuals of both 
sexes, roving over an area of 28,000 square miles, which 
would give one hundred and seventy square miles to each 
individual. Next come the Manyargs. Their numbers, 
including the Birars and the Solons, on the right bank of the 
Amur, are about 20,000, of whom one-sixth at most are 
under Russian sway. The agricultural population about 
Aigun, estimated at from 40,000 to 50,000, is also confined 
chiefly to the right bank of the river, those on its left bank 
hardly amounting to 2,000. The Goldi occupy one hundred 
and fourteen so-called villages on the Amur, with three 
hundred and twenty houses, and 2,560 inhabitants. The 
Manguns, forty villages, with one hundred and ten houses, 
and 1,100 inhabitants. The Kile on the Upper Gorin, and 
Negidalze on the Amgun, do not probably exceed 1000 souls. 
The population along the Usuri is estimated by Veniukof at 
1,400, of whom about four hundred are on the left bank of 
the river. The vast tract extending between the Usuri and 
the sea-coast,, from Castries Bay in the north to the frontier 
of Korea, is very thinly populated, and it is only in the 
south, where there are several Chinese settlements, that the 
population is comparatively numerous. Veniukof reckons 
the population between the Usuri and the coast, north of 
Port Imperial, at 1,600 ; and we believe that 2,500 might 
be the approximate population of the entire coast-region 
under consideration. The Gilyaks on the Amur occupy 
thirty-nine " villages," having one hundred and forty houses, 
and 1,680 inmates. The population of Southern Sakhalin, 
up to about 49° of north latitude, was calculated by Mamia 
Rinso at 2,850, in four hundred and thirty-eight huts, which 
would allow 2*1 square miles to each inhabitant. If we 
assume a similar population for the northern (Russian) part of 


the island, we obtain 8,550, which is, however, in all 
likelihood beyond the actual number. 

Combining these results, we may infer the following as the 
native population of the Russian territories on the Amur : — 

Square Miles. Natires. 

Province of the Amur . . . 164,000 5,200 

Usuri, Sofyevsk, & Nikolayevsk 179,000 9,800 

Northern (Russian) Sakhalin . 18,000 8,500 

Total 361,000 23,500 

Or, arranging this population according to tribes, we 
obtain : — 

Oronchons of the Upper Amur . . . 260 

Monyargs and Birars 3,000 

Daurians, etc 2,000 

Goldi on the Amur and Usuri . . . 3,560 
Olcha (Manguns) on the Amur . . . 1,100 
Negidals and Kile (Samagers) . . . 1,000 

Orochis of the sea-coast 1,000 

Orokes on Sakhalin • 1,000 

Gilyaks on the Lower Amur and on 

Sakhalin 8,180 P 

Ainos on Northern Sakhalin .... l,000 b 
Chinese on the Usuri, etc 1,400 

Total 23,500° 

b On Southern (Japanese) Sakhalin about 2,850 additional 

c No account has been taken in this estimate of the nomadic 

Tunguzians who annually cross the Yablonoi mountains, from the 

Government of Yakutsk, to pasture their reindeer. 



The Tunguzians of the Upper Amur.* 1 — Oronchons and 


The banks of the Tipper Amur, down to the mouth of the 
Dzeya, are in the occupation of the Tunguzian tribes of the 
Oronchons and Manyargs (Monagirs, Man&gres), the prin- 
cipal difference between whom is, that the chief domestic 
animal of the former is the reindeer (Oronchon = reindeer- 


keeper), and of the latter the horse. The horses are small, 
but strong and of great endurance. Before going on a long 
journey the Manyarg keeps his horse for a day without food, 
and on his return also the poor beast is made to undergo five 
or six days' abstinence. This is done with a view of keeping 
the horse in working condition. Among the Manyargs 

* Orlof. Viestnik, 1857 ; Zeitschrift fur Erdk. 1858, iv. ; Gerstfeldt, 
Viestuik, 1857 ; Erman's Archiv., vol. xvii., R. Maack, etc. 


the influence of the Chinese with whom they live in close 
proximity is very apparent, not only in their dress but in 
their general demeanour. The oppressions of the Mandarins 
have broken their spirits, and they are much more sub- 
missive than the Oronchons. They are compelled to tow the 
boats, and are rewarded for their labour by harsh treatment 
and heavy blows. They pay the usual tribute in skins, and 
are, besides, liable to military conscription, and are sent to 
the Sungari to serve their term. Now that the Russians 
are in possession of the left bank of the river, the Man- 
yargs living there are of course no longer exposed to 
these severities. 

The Oronchons originally lived in the province of 
Yakutsk, whence they voluntarily emigrated to the banks of 
the Amur in 1825, and occupied there part of the territory 
of the Manyargs, whom they compelled to withdraw further 
down the river. d There are two tribes of Oronchons. One 
of them, the Ninagai, occupies the left bank of the Amur, 
between the rivers Oldoi and Amazar, and the country up to 
and beyond the crest of the Stanovoi mountains. In 1856 
it mustered sixty-eight males and sixty-six females, and 
twenty-seven of the former paid annually five shillings and 
fivepence of tribute each, or in lieu thereof twelve squirrel- 
skins, to the officer commanding the post of Gorbitza. The 
other tribe, the Shologon, occupy the right bank of the 
Amur, down to the Albazikha rivulet. They number 
seventy-two individuals of both sexes, including forty males, 
of whom seventeen had to pay to the commandant of Ust 
Strelka a tribute of six shillings and four pence each. 
They owned eighty-two reindeer. 

The Manyargs, as stated above, occupy the Amur below 

d The chief of this small tribe has still in his possession a hunting- 
knife with a silver handle, upon which are engraved the initials of 
Catherine II., and which was presented to one of his ancestors. 


the Oronchon, but in spring and summer they ascend it for 
the sake of fishing, to the Ignashina and Sester, leaving 
their horses below the Albazikha. They also dwell in the 
valley of the Dzeya, and generally speaking, the whole of 
the Prairie region down to the Bureya mountains, where 
their horses find forage ; whilst the Oronchons, on account 
of their rein-deer, are confined to the mountainous districts. 
The Birars residing along the Bureya river are a sub-tribe 
of the Manyargs, and the Solons, north of Mergen, are pro- 
bably related. 6 

The Manyargs and Oronchons are rather small and of 

spare build. Their arms and legs are thin, a feature most 
striking in their half-naked children, whose belllies more- 
over are very protruding. The face is flat, but the nose in 
many instances, large and pointed. The cheeks are broad, 
the mouth is large, and the lips are thin ; the eyes very 
small and sleepy-looking, and generally of black or reddish- 
brown. The hair is black and smooth, the beard short and 

• The Manyargs are not known to Chinese geographers by that name, 
but they mention the Solon and Builar (Birar). 


the eye-brows very thin. The Manchu features frequently 
found among the Manyargs are traced by Maack to the 
officials who annually collect the tribute, and to whom their 
women are freely yielded up. 

The ordinary dress of the men consists of a kind of frock 
called " gulama," made of fur or leather, and reaching down to 
the knees. Under this they sometimes wear a gown (samsa) 
purchased from the Chinese, or at all events made of Chinese 
cotton-stuffs, after Chinese patterns. Shirts are not worn 
at all, unless one has been procured in barter from a 
Cossack. They wear short and wide leather-drawers 
girthed round the waist. The frock is confined by a belt 
of leather or horsehair, attached to which they carry a great 
many things of daily use, such as a knife, a tobacco-pouch, 
flint and steel, a pipe, an iron tobacco-stoker, ear-picks, a 
small pair of tweezers for pulling out the beard, a purse, and 
so forth. Most of these things are of Chinese workmanship, 
and are ornamented with glass beads and Chinese copper 
coins. The boots reach up to the middle of the calf, and the 
remainder of the leg is inclosed in a hose made of leather or 
cotton-stuff, and reaching from the ankles to the middle of 
the thigh. Instead of boots the feet are often wrapped up 
in reindeer leather, the hair inside, and the outside em- 

The hair is cut short on the forehead and temples, and 
plaited behind into a tail hanging down the back, and orna- 
mented with ribbons and leather straps. Some of the 
Oronchons, who have been for a longer period tributary to 
Russia patronise tails no more. Old men alone allow the 
beard and moustaches to grow, but the whiskers are always 
carefully tweezed out. The head-dress is a structure of 
several semicircular caps of fur and leather, with a silk 
tassel. Chinese felt hats are also in vogue. Most of the 
men wear a ring on the thumb of the right hand, made of 
bone, wood or some such material, which was originally of 


assistance in bending the bow. The gradual introduction 
of fire-arms has superseded its original application, but it 
still forms a formidable means of attack in the pugilistic en- 
counters between the natives. 

The dress of the women does not materially differ from that 
of the men. The frock and gown are however longer, and 
trimmed with stripes of coloured cloth. In a girdle or belt 
they generally carry everything requisite for smoking, — for 
women and children even are equally addicted to this habit. 
There is besides attached to this belt a sort of housewife, 
with needles and thread, proofs of their domestic virtues. 

The hair is parted down the middle, the plaits are wound 
round the head, and fastened behind above the forehead with 
ribbons. The head-dress is either a piece of cloth, or a 
structure resembling that of the man, but many-coloured 
and decorated with ribbons hanging down the back. During 
summer they sometimes wear a kind of a conical hat made 
of cotton, and resembling an extinguisher when looked at 
from behind. "Unmarried girls may be recognized by their 
head-band embroidered with beads, and adorned with but- 
tons, copper coins and small pieces of tin. The women 
wear brass bracelets, rings of silver and copper, ear-rings 
with glass beads, and necklaces made of small pieces of 
cypress wood and Chinese copper coins slung on a string. 

These Tunguzians lead a wandering life. During spring 
and the beginning of summer they generally reside on the 
banks of the river, engaged in fishing, but in the autumn 
and winter they retire to the interior of the country to 
pursue the chase. In these migrations the reindeer or horse 
carries the scanty property of its owner. The only other 
domestic animal is the dog. We need not be surprised, 
considering this mode of life, if their habitations do not 

f Among the tribes on the sea-coast, these rings protect the thumb 
when cutting fish open. 


bear the stamp of permanency. They are in fact conical 
yurts or tents, easily built and more easily removed. Some 
twenty poles are stuck into the ground to form a circle of 
from ten to fourteen feet in diameter, and they are tied 
together about ten feet above the centre of the circle. 
This frame is covered with birch-bark, and above that with 
skins of the reindeer and moose. An opening is left in 
front to serve as the door, and a hole in the top for a 
chimney. During winter the door is closed by furs or skins. 
In case of a temporary removal, the bark and the skins are 
taken away, but the poles are left standing. 

A hole in the centre of the tent serves, as a fire-place, and 
above it the most important household utensils, a shallow 
iron pot with two handles, is suspended from a tripod formed 
of three wooden staves. The floor is covered with felt 
carpets, manufactured from the hair of the reindeer or 
moose. Low wooden benches on the sides serve as beds, and 
are covered with furs. The seat of honour is opposite the 
entrance. It is reserved for guests, and must never be 
occupied by the women. On entering, the guest sits down 
there ; the host offers him a pipe, which is then passed round 
the circle until it is smoked out, when gruel with small 
pieces of meat in it, is served up in birch-bark cups. 

In front of the yurts are scaffoldings for drying fish and 
meat, and at a greater distance are store-houses, placed upon 
poles, beyond the reach of animals, where all those things are 
kept which are not taken upon the migrations. These store- 
houses are religiously respected, and are never known to 
have been plundered. 

The fisheries during spring and summer prove very pro- 
ductive. They catch sturgeons, taimen, bielugus and 
kelugas of a very large size, the caviar of which often weighs 
thirty-six pounds and more. The fish caught they either 
reserve for their own use, or sell it to the Cossacks, from 
whom they get from thirty-six to fifty-four pounds of rye- 



flour for thirty-six pounds of fish, -or from one hundred and 
twenty-six to one hundred and forty-four pounds of rye- 
flour for a pound of caviar. In catching fish, they make use 
either of harpoons or of a snare {samolof in Russian). The 
management of the former requires a great deal of skill, 
and is employed only for large fish. During calm weather, 
one man will mount upon a prominent rock on the bank of 
the river whence he can espy the fish as it passes. On 
perceiving one he calls to his companion below, who is in 
readiness in a small birch-bark canoe, and provided with a» 
harpoon fixed to a long pole, with a long line attached. 


The latter then pursues the fish, and having harpooned it 
he lets go the line, and by skilful manoeuvring contrives to 
drag the fish ashore, where it is killed. 

Snares or samalofs are laid in the following manner. To 
a rope of from two hundred and eighty to five hundred and 
sixty feet in length, cords of thirty inches, with iron 
hooks (c) attached, are tied at intervals of thirty inches. 



Floats made of birch-bark (a) are fastened to the rope, and 
to its ends heavy weights are attached (b). It is then 
stretched across the river. The fish passing are caught 
on the unbaited hooks ; and all the fisherman has to do is 
to collect his booty from time to time from his small birch- 
bark canoe (omuroch). Small fish alone can be caught in 
this manner ; a large one pulls the whole apparatus after it, 
and it is rather difficult, often impossible, to recover it. 

Wild animals are numerous, especially on the right bank 
»of the river. During summer many are killed for the sake 
of the flesh ; above all, elks near the small lakes at some 
distance from the Amur. During winter the Oronchons 
disperse in small hunting parties in the forests, returning 
from time to time to carry their booty to the yurts. They 
hunt squirrels, martens, sables, roedeer, reindeer, elks, foxes 
and sometimes bears. Squirrels in particular are found in 
great numbers, and those from this neighbourhood are 
highly esteemed in the markets of Siberia, and on the spot 
itself fetch fivepence halfpenny a piece. A good sportsman 
may bag a thousand in a season, and five hundred is con- 
sidered an average yield. Sables are very scarce, and not 
more than fifteen or twenty altogether are procured here 
annually by traders. Bears, otters, gluttons, lynxes and 
wild boars are scarcely ever met with. Wolves are plentiful, 
but only few of them are killed, for during summer they 
leave no track, and in winter they easily get away. The 
Oronchons are very good marksmen, and Orlof, who staid 
among them for a long time, did not see a single squirrel 



through whose head their small bullet had not passed. 
Bows and arrows have been almost entirely superseded by 
fire-arms, but spears are occasionally used. The Manyargs 
also set snares consisting of a crossbow fastened to a trunk of 
a tree. The arrow is smeared with putrified fat in order to 
accelerate the death of the animal hit. The poison spreads 
with great rapidity from the wound through the body, and 
the carcase exhales a most nauseous odour, which is also the 
case even if the animal is killed before succumbing to the 
strength of the poison. Nevertheless the Manyargs eat the 
flesh without disgust, and without its entailing any evil 

Women hold a very inferior position. Girls marry before 
the age of puberty. Not only is the whole of -the domestic 
labour assigned to the women, but they have to build and 
take down the yurts, load and unload the reindeer, prepare 
the hides, manufacture cloth, birch-bark matting, etc. 

The Oronchons are nominally Christians, but they resort 
to the practices of Shamanism almost every night. On one 
occasion the Shaman astonished his auditors by waking a 
woman from a lethargic sleep, and in doing so he shook the 
poor woman most unmercifully, constantly calling out, 
amnidu, ay a aya-kokendu, her soul has gone far very far away. 
Idols made of wood and fur may be seen in the yurts, and 
the teeth and claws of animals are worn as talismans. 
Diseased parts of the body are cured by wearing a carved re- 
semblance of them ; a lame person may thus be seen carrying 
about small legs of wood; an individual suffering in the 
chest, a little heart ; and so forth. The dead are buried in 
the neighbourhood of the yurts, and a small house or 
wooden roof, ornamented frequently with carvings, repre- 
senting the heads of horses or the like is placed over the 

Orlof, in a paper on the nomadic Tunguzians of 
Bauntovsk and the Angara, east of Lake Baikal, and north- 



west of the Oronchons, gives an interesting account of the 
manner in which these tribes are engaged in the course of a 
year. These tribes are the Kindigir, one hundred and 
seventy-six males and one hundred and forty-seven females ; 
and the Chilchagir, four hundred and forty-nine males and 
four hundred and seventy-seven females. The Tunguzians 
divide our year into two parts, a summer and winter-year, of 
six moons each. The summer year begins with the first 
new moon after the spring equinox, and to make up the 
deficiency between the lunar and solar year, a seventh moon 
called oktynkiro, i.e., the time is up, is added after the six 
winter months.* The names of the moons are as follows : — 

a. Summer Year : 

1. Turan corresponds to our March. 

2. Sonka or Shonkon „ April. 

3. Dukun 

, May. 

4. Hyaga or Roga 

„ June. 

5. Ukun 

, July. 

6. Irun 

„ August. 

b. Winter Year : 

♦ 1. Yrkin corresponds to 

our September. 

2. Urgun 


3. TJgdarpyr „ 


4. Miro „ 


5. Otki 


6. Giraun „ 


7. Oktynkiro 

" Time is up." 

We will now proceed to describe the occupation of the 
Tunguzians during each moon of the year. In the first 
moon of summer (March), the snow which had choked up 
the ravines and defiles has become settled, and its crust is 
sufficiently hard to enable the Tunguzian to venture upon it 

i Viestnik, xxi. ; Zeitsch. £ Erdk. 1858, v. 


in his snow-shoes, whilst cloven-footed animals sink down. 
The Tunguzian avails himself of this circumstance and 
pursues the game with or without dogs, and shoots it when 
he finds it. In some instances he is even able to approach 
the game with his hunting-spear, or the dogs overtake and 
kill it, and surrender their prey to the huntsman. Elks, 
roe- and musk-deer, wild reindeer and goats constitute the 
chief objects of the chase in that month, and the Tunguzians 
fix their tents in the neighbourhood of valleys, defiles or 
ravines where the snow lies deepest. 

In April the ice on the rivers begins to move, and when the 
banks are inundated in consequence of the melting of the 
snow, the Tunguzian hastens to the small rivulets or to the 
sources of the larger ones ; and in swampy localities or places 
overgrown with sedge, he casts his fishing-nets and catches 
great numbers of taimen, perch, pike and eel-pouts. The fish 
not required for immediate consumption is dried in the sun, 
and put into the store-houses, to be made use of in the 
following month, which is considered one of the worst of the 

May is a very dreary month. Preparations for attracting 
game to certain spots have been made in the preceding 
autumn, by burning down some of the high grass in the 
valleys, where the young grass sprouts forth earlier than 
elsewhere ; and the game at night comes to pasture. The 
Tunguzians, concealed by the high grass, lie in ambush in 
expectation of getting a favourable shot. This manner of 
hunting is not always successful, for the Tunguzians from 
under their cover cannot always obtain a sight of the animals, 
and these are remarkably shy. Moreover a shot in the dark 
does not always tell. A huntsman who, during that month, 
kills three goats, or a reindeer and a goat, is considered very 
lucky. The Tunguzians dwell at this period in the vicinity 
of large valleys, but do not altogether leave the rivers, nor 
give up fishing. 

A A 


The fourth summer month — Ilyaga, June — supplies them 
with soft-roe antlers, filled with blood, and having a thick 
woolly covering of a grayish colour. These antlers are sold 
to the Chinese, who use them as a remedy for irregular men- 
struation. The roe is of a very hardy nature, and prefers the 
rocky heights and mountains, where it is pursued by the 
natives. The Tunguzian keeps the skin and flesh, and sells 
the antlers to merchants who visit him towards the end 
of that month bringing tea, tobacco, salt, powder and lead, 
grain, butter and so forth, and he is often able to procure in 
this way provisions to last himself and family for half a year. 
No wonder June is considered one of the best months of the 

In July— Ilkun — the Tunguzians descend from the 
mountains to the rivers and lakes, and spend the first part of 
the month in fishing. At rapid places of the rivers they 
cast their nets, and catch grayling and pike. On the lakes 
they use small horsehair-nets, which they throw out from a 
birch-bark canoe, containing two or three persons. The 
fishery here is very productive ; they catch large sturgeons, 
taimens, trout (Salmo lenoc), perch and pike. The fish 
are cut lengthways into strips, and exposed on a horsehair- 
net to the sun ; or they are smoked under the hole in the 
roof which serves for their chimney. Fish prepared in this 
way, called in Tunguzian baptsiany, are very palatable, and 
much liked by Russian travellers. Towards the end of this 
month, when the night is favourable, the Tunguzians pro- 
vide themselves with torches, and visit in their canoes the 
retired bays of the lake, where they harpoon the fish found 
near the shore; when the rivers rise in consequence of heavy 
rains, they hasten to the rapids, and kill the large sturgeon, 
taimens, and pike cast ashore and left by the waters. In 
the course of this month they also spear the elk near the 
lakes. This animal is very fond of a water-plant — Lycopo- 
dium solago— and at night or at the break of day resorts to 


shallow lakes covered with it. He wades into the water, and 
whilst engaged tearing out the plant with his teeth, the 
Tunguzian draws near in a canoe, and kill** the beast with a 
spear. Sometimes the Tunguzians hide in the vicinity of 
the lake and way-lay the elk. This kind of sport is not 
however frequently crowned with success, for the elk is not 
only very shy and scents human beings at a great distance, 
but approaches the lakes only during dark nights, or when 
dense fogs lie upon them. 

In the sixth month— August, Iren — the natives catch 
birds. It is well known that wild-fowl, swans, geese, divers, 
scoters, ducks, gulls, etc., migrate in summer to Siberia, 
where they seek retired places, to breed undisturbed. Such 
localities are generally found in the vicinity of lakes or 
creeks. The Tunguzians are sure of a good capture at the 
beginning of August, for at that time the young birds are 
not yet fledged, and the mothers are moulting their feathers. 
On their small birch-bark canoes, the men visit at night the 
retired creeks and bays of the rivers and lakes, and spear the 
birds in great numbers. Their flesh, excepting that of the 
swans, is eaten, and the feathers and down are exchanged 
for tobacco, ear and finger rings, bracelets, beads and the 
like. About the middle of the month, the Tunguzians leave 
the lakes and go up the mountains and glaoiers, to trace the 
burrows of the Bobak, which they unearth, or smoke out. 
The skins of these little animals are used to ornament the. 
holiday dress, or they are sold. The fat— and in autumn 
these little creatures are nothing scarcely but fat — is esteemed 
a delicacy. It never freezes and is kept in a small leather 
bag expressly made for that purpose. 

This is their mode of life during the six months of the 
summer. In the beginning of September they leave the 
mountains and again descend to the rivers, where they pre- 
pare for their winter-pursuits. At this season the larches 
turn yellow, and the leaves fall off the trees. This is the 

aa 2 


rutting period, and from the opening of the month may be 
heard at day-break the call of the roe-buck, and the response 
of the doe, who has gone to the valley with her fawns to 
seek forage. The Tunguzian avails himself of this, and by 
cleverly imitating the call of the doe on a wooden horn, 
entices the buck near enough to shoot him. h The elk is also 
now hunted, but as it does not call, it is necessary to follow 
its track, which is not very difficult after the first snow has 


fallen. Generally speaking the Tunguzians have more meat 
at the end of September than at any other time of the year. 
But if fortune should not smile upon them in their hunting 
expeditions, they live upon service-berries and bilberries, 
which they mix with reindeer milk. Other berries, such as 
cloud-berries, whortle-berries and currants, are considered 
unwholesome. They also gather the nuts of the Manchu- 
cedar, and the dwarflike Cembra-pine. These are generally 
eaten with the shell on, and on extra occasions are mixed up 
with kukuru, that is dried meat cut small. The latter part 
of September and beginning of October is again employed in 
fishing, for the fish then ascend the rivers to spawn. The 
catch at that time is very large if not interrupted by a pre- 
mature frost. Having procured a sufficiency of provisions 
against the winter, the Tunguzians about the middle of 
October remove to the forests and enter upon the chase of 
fur-bearing animals, of all game the most profitable. They 
stop here until the close of November. Their first care is to 

k The Mauyargs employ the same stratagem for hunting stags. 



set various kinds of snares, which are inspected from day to 
day. They hunt and trap sables, foxes, bears, wolves, otters, 
martens, lynxes, gluttons, squirrels and polecats. 

At the beginning of the fourth winter month, December, 
the Tunguzians take their furs to the localities fixed upon for 
paying the Yassak, or tribute in furs, and where they also 
carry on barter with merchants who come for that purpose. 
Each male between the years of fifteen and fifty pays annually 
two silver rubles, or the equivalent in furs. No other taxes 
are levied upon them. In some instances, the Tunguzians 
evade the payment of this impost ; but as, in such cases, the 
other members of the tribe have to make good the deficiency, 
they are all of them interested in discovering the defaulter. 
Sometimes a Tunguzian remains away from the "fair," as 
this annual gathering is called, because he is greatly in 
arrear to the merchants, and is afraid of being compelled to 
surrender the whole of his furs, without receiving means to 
sustain life. In that case, he generally visits another fair, 
where he sells his furs and pays the Yassak due. 

The merchants always manage to keep the Tunguzian in 
debt, and the price of commodities is most exorbitant. His 
purchases made — they consist for the greater part in grain — 
the Tunguzian returns to the forests, and during January 
and February continues to hunt fur-animals. 

In conclusion, we will say a few words about the Solon, a 
nomadic tribe, allied to, if not identical with, the Manyargs, 
and who occupy the country north of Mergen. They claim 
to be descendants of the ancient Sushi, by whom was founded 
the dynasty of the Gin. The word Solan signifies " Shooters. 
They are indeed expert huntsmen, and even their women 
mount on horseback and pursue the game. Besides horses, 
they have dogs for hunting, sheep, oxen, and camels/ 

f Du Halde, China, iv. ; Lange in Pallas Beitrage, ii. 



Manchu, Daurians and Chinese. 

The most populous part of the Amur is that immediately 
below the Dzeya, where for a distance of forty to fifty miles, 
some twenty-five or thirty villages are scattered along its 
banks, above and below the town of Sakhalin-ula-hotun or 


Aigun. These villages number ten to fifty or even one 
hundred houses each, and are built either on the high banks 
of the river, where plantations of trees protect them against 
cold northerly winds, or on sandy islands or peninsulas, 
among the willows. Between these villages their clumsy 



carte may be seen going. These have two wheels fixed to 
the axle-tree, and they all turn together. They are drawn 
by oxen, and move but slowly along the wretched roads. 
Labourers are engaged in the gardens and fields surrounding 
the villages, and herds of cattle and horses graze on the 


intervening pasture-lands. The river is enlivened by junks 
and fishing-boats, the former carrying sails and streamers. 
They Tare towed up the river by men on the banks. Leaving 
this populous district, the mud-houses again become scarce, 
and in their place we find yurte covered with birch or larch- 
bark, sedge or twigs. But whilst the inhabitants of these 
yurts resemble the Oronchons and Manyargs in dress, they 
are in feature more akin to the Daurians. 

This population consists of Daurians and Manchu, who can 
scarcely be distinguished from each other in appearance. They 
are taller and stronger than the Orochons ; the countenance 
is oval and more intellectual, and the cheeks are less broad. 
The nose is rather prominent; and the eyebrows straight. 
The skin is tawny-coloured, the hair brown. The lower classes 
do not shave the head, and their hair resembles an ill-con- 
structed hay-stack, around which they twist their pig-tail to 
keep it in place, The higher classes shave the head in front 
and over the temples, and cultivate a tail which hangs down 
behind. Some of the women are well-favoured, generally 
round-faced, fleshy and of a very ruddy complexion. Collins 


noticed several old people and young children afflicted with 
sore eyes, and among the women several cases of goitre. 

The dress is very much like that of the Chinese. The 
men wear a long blue coat of cotton, loose linen trousers 
fastened at the knee or made into leggings, and Chinese 
shoes or boots made of skin. They wear also a kind of vest 
or Kaftan of skin or fish-skin, and a belt to which is attached 
a case containing a knife, Chinese chop-sticks, tinder, a small 
copper pipe and tobacco. Both sexes are passionately fond 
of smoking, and, as in China, constantly carry a fan about 
with them. The women dress in a blue cotton gown with 
short loose sleeves, above which they wear a cape or mantle 
of silk reaching down to the waist. The hair is brushed up 
and fastened on the top of the head in a bunch, which is 
secured by a comb ornamented with beads, hair needles, and 
decked with gay ribbons and real or artificial flowers. The 
ear-rings, finger-rings and bracelets exhibit much taste. 
The women are in the habit of carrying their youngest 
children about with them, tied on their back. The girls on 
being released from their swaddling clothes, are dressed like 
their mothers, but the boys up to six or seven years of age, 
only wear a pair of loose pantaloons. The use of fur or 
leather in their clothing is restricted almost to the inhabitants 
of the yurts. 

The houses generally stand in a square yard, having a 
fence of stakes or wickerwork. The frame-work of the 
house is made of wood, and the walls are plastered with mud- 
clay, for wood is here rather a dear commodity, and men go 
to the Upper Amur to fell the wood necessary for the con- 
sumption of the inhabitants of the prairie, and float it down 
in rafts. The roof is covered with sedge or grass. The 
interior is not generally divided into compartments, but when 
it is, all culinary operations are carried on in the entrance- 
room, and we meet here also with the children, sucking-pigs, 
calves, chickens and dogs of the proprietor. There is a large 


window of paper soaked in oil on each side of the door. 
During summer the paper windows are replaced by matting 
which rolls up like our blinds. The fire-place is generally 
to the left as you enter, close to the wall. A large iron pan 
is set up into this fire-place, and the smoke passes through 
wooden pipes leading from it and carried underneath the 
low benches which encompass the apartment, and continued 
to a sort of high wooden chimney, stuck up in the yard. 
Great economy is thus practised as regards the smoke. The 
wooden benches, which are about eighteen inches high, and 
five or six feet wide, serve as places of repose by night or 
day. Cupboards are let into the wall for articles of clothing 
and utensils, such as wooden and clay vessels, baskets, boxes, 
iron kettles. A clay-pot with charcoal is placed in front of, 
or on one of the bejiches, to light the pipes, which are in 
constant requisition. When a guest enters, one of the 
women at once fills and lights a pipe, and having taken a 
few puffs herself, and wiped the mouth-piece with her hand 
or apron, she presents it to him. On the walls we perceive 
pictures of Buddhist deities, or of Foism, painted on linen. 
Outside many of the houses there is a shrine containing 
idols, in front of which stand small basins with incense. We 
noticed in addition opposite the door of many houses, and 
standing within the yard, a square wooden screen several 
feet high. On that side of the screen facing the door there 
is a pole attached with an arrangement for raising it when 
required. The upper part of this pole is ornamented with 
the skulls of beasts of prey, small flags, horse-hair or the 
like, and during prayer it is set up whilst the worshippers 
are lying prostrate on the ground downward. Maack 
noticed a rude calendar in the house of the Manchu official 
residing at the mouth of the Sungari. It consisted of a 
bent bow, to the cord of which thirty wooden bells were 
attached, and one of which was pushed every day to the 
other side. 


There are several temples at Aigun, and at a few of the 
military stations. Maack describes a temple of Confu-tze 
which he found standing in the midst of a grove of oak-trees, 
near the river Gaijin. It is a square house, the walls of 
which are made of thin poles set up side by side, and the 
interstices filled up with clay, and smoothened. The sloping 
roof is thatched with straw. As you enter you find yourself 
in a kind of ante-room, separated from the inner compart- 
ment by a pink curtain running along the width of the 
temple, and suspended from slender pillars. Upon this 
curtain are three inscriptions, in Chinese, viz., " Erected in 
the tenth month of the fourth year of San-tin, of the Dai-tsin 
dynasty ;" " Three suns govern spring and autumn ;" and 
" Built by the pious and humble Yan-khai-tsin." Drawing 
aside the curtain, we see before us a table against the wall, 
upon which stands a picture painted on deal and represent- 
ing some deity with a deformed face, the head surrounded 
by a variegated nimbus. He sits cross-legged on a bench, 
and on each side of him are three human beings with a 
similar nimbus. 

At the lower corners of the picture two animals are 
crouching, one resembling a lynx, the other a tiger. At the 
foot of the deity two men without nimbus are wrestling. 
Dried stems and leaves of Artemisia, some Chinese coins, and 
a Russian farthing (half kopeck) lie on the table in front 
of the picture. There is also a semi-globular vessel of cast* 
iron, with three holes on each side, which is struck by the 
worshipper, after he has made his obeisance, to attract the 
notice of the god. 

It has been remarked before that the Tunguzians about 
Aigun till the soil, and breed cattle ; but they carry on 
fishing and the chase with the same zest as their neighbours. 
The Manchu and Chinese* are more addicted to the former, 

* Called Nikans by the Tunguzians. 



the Daurians to the latter. Their boats are made of the 
trunk of a hollowed-out tree, cut into two pieces, fastened 
with wooden pegs, and secured from leaking with pitch. 
They also make flat-bottomed boats of planks. Occasionally 


may be seen the large junks of the Chinese or Manchu, most 
of them built on the Sungari, with a small tub-like house at 
the stern, and a mast with a knob, a bird, or trident at the 
top. They have nets, hooks, and fishing forks, or harpoons. 
A peculiar kind of fishing apparatus was observed near 
Aigun. We give an illustration of it. The net is lowered 
by means of a rope, and the apparatus can be pushed into 
the water and pulled back as required. 


During winter, when the river -is covered with ice, the 
Daurians practise a mode of fishing known to the Cossacks as 


chekacheni or " malleting." Where the ice is transparent, 
the fish may be seen almost immoveable near the surface of 
the water beneath it. A few strokes on the ice with a mallet 
stun the fish, and ja hole is then made, and they are taken 
out with the hand or a small net. 

The Daurians dwelling on the Upper Sungari, in the 
neighbourhood of Tsitsikar, have been visited by E. Ysbrand 

" They occupy Naun-kottm (now Tsitsikar) and the six 
villages south of it, and are called Daori or Daurians. 

" They carry on agriculture very successfully, and cultivate 
vegetables and much tobacco. Their religion is very impious 
and diabolical, for according to their own admission they are 
Shamanists, and serve and worship the devil. 

" At midnight, the neighbours frequently meet, both men 
and women. One of them prostrates himself upon the 
ground, and those surrounding him set up a hideous howL 
Others beat a kind of drum, and after a short pause, the 
shouting recommences, and this continues for an hour or two. 
After some time, the person lying upon the ground, and who 
appears to be mad with enthusiasm, raises himself, and tells 
the others where he has been, and what he heard and saw. 
Sometimes one or the other of the company desires to learn 
something about the future, and the information is of course 
afforded him. Not a night passed whilst I staid in the 
place without these devil- worshippers yelling in this way. 

" The dead are kept in the house for three days ; they are 
then half-buried in a funereal hut in the garden or field. It 
is daily visited by the nearest relatives, who bring all sorts of 
meat and drink. The food is put to the mouth of the 
deceased with a spoon, and the drink is placed in small cups 
outside the hut. A few weeks pass in this manner, and then 
the decomposed corpse is buried deeper. 

"These Daori live in houses made of loam, or earth, 


thatched with reeds or thin bamboos. The walls are white- 
washed inside. On a pillar, about six feet high, are sus- 
pended the entrails of an animal, with a small bow, arrows, 
spears, and other arms arrayed around it. Before this they 
bend now and then in adoration. The houses are not divided 
into compartments ; nearly half the room is encompassed by 
a bench, about a yard high and two wide, which is covered 
with reed matting. The fire-place is outside the house, near 
the door, and the smoke from it passes through a pipe con- 
ducted beneath the benches through the house. This 
arrangement replaces but imperfectly our stove ; and imparts 
but little warmth to the room, though the persons lying upon 
the divan are pretty comfortable. 

"Two iron kettles always form part of the household 
utensils, one of them contains water for the tea, and the food 
is cooked in the other. The houses have Urge square 
windows, pasted with paper. They are hinged at the top, 
and opened for ventilation by raising the bottom part with 
a stick. 

" These people are well made, especially the women, and 
dress like the Manchu in China. The secretaries of the 
Mandarins who are sent to this part, are privileged by a 
letter from the Khan to select any women or young girls 
whom they may fancy whenever love prompts them. I 
have myself frequently been present when the best-looking 
females were taken away in a cart, as if they were going to 
the slaughterhouse. Some of the men whose wives had 
been taken in this manner, still persist in considering it a 
a special favour to have such fine gentlemen as brothers-in- 
law. Others, though discontented, are compelled to conceal 
their chagrin from fear of punishment and disgrace." 

The Targachins, mentioned by Tsbrand Ides and Brandt, 
are probably also Daurians. They are Shamanists. During 
summer they dress in Chinese cotton stuffs or prepared 
hides, but in winter they wear sheep-skins. They live in 


huts made of reeds or bamboos ; but unlike the Orochons 
and Manyargs of the Amur, they subsist chiefly upon agri- 
culture, and cultivate barley, oats, etc., and sell the surplus 
at Tsitsikar. They keep horses, camels, oxen and sheep, 
the latter having fat tails. They frequently ride on oxen, 
and are expert in the use of the bow. 

The Tttnguzians of the Lower Amur. — Goldi, 
Manguns, Orochis. 

These tribes exhibit so great a similarity in outward appear- 
ance, customs and manner of life, as to induce us not to 
describe them under separate headings, which would neces- 
sitate our repeating the same kind of information in almost 


every instance. We shall merely state where one of the 
tribes mentioned possesses some peculiarity distinguishing 
it from its neighbours. 

The Tunguzian tribes are the Goldi and Manguns, along 
the Amur, Sungari and Usuri ; and the Orochis along the 
sea-coast from Castries Bay to about 44° N. lat. 



The Goldi inhabit both banks of the Sungari below the 
town of Sansin, the Usuri below the Dobikhu and the 
Amur to the village of Niurguya below the Gorin. Maack 
calls the Goldi living along the Amur down to Nyungya 
"Kileng"; and those about the mouth of the XJsuri, 
" Hodseng." Below the Goldi the banks of the Amur are 
occupied by the Manguns or Olchas as far as the village of 
Kadema, below the Russian settlement of Irkutskoi. The 
Orochis, lastly, occupy the sea-coast and the country 
bounded by the Amur and Usuri, having for neighbours 
the Gilyaks, Manguns and Goldis, and coming into contact 
on the Upper Usuri with Chinese settlers. 

These Tunguzians have the usual Mongol features, pro- 
minent cheek bones, and small oblique eyes. The nose is 
not in all cases flat. The eyebrows are more defined and 
arched. The mouth large, the lips thick and of a dull red 
colour. The complexion is fair and ruddy. The colour of 


the hair and eyes are black, but occasionally grey eyes are 
seen. The size of the head is large compared to that of the 
body. According to M. Rollin, the average stature of 


the men whom he met in Castries Bay was five feet one 
inch, the circumference of the head 22*38 inches, and the 
diameters 9*59 and 5*69 inches. The bodies are lank, but 
the muscles well developed, and the men by no means defi- 
cient in strength. 

The fashion of shaving the head has only in few instances 
been adopted from the Manchu. Ordinarily the hair is tied 
up in a bunch and allowed to hang down the nape of the 
neck, or it is plaited. The beard and moustaches make but 
a poor show, and many natives are not provided with hirsute 
appendages at all, or tweeze them out for very shame. 
The women wear their hair parted in the middle with two 
plaits hanging down the back, like Russian peasant girls, or 
twisted round their heads. Both sexes are in the habit of 
tattooing the face, a custom not observed amongst .the 
Daurians, though met with occasionally amongst the Oron- 
chons. The tattooing is restricted however to four spots 
placed on the forehead in the shape of a cross. In their 
dress much has been adopted from the Manchu, and though 
few can afford to purchase cotton stuffs, not to mention silks, 
the fish, dog and deer-skins are fashioned according to 
Chinese patterns. The materials most in request for sum- 
mer dresses are fish-skins, which are procured from two 
kinds of salmon. They strip the skin off with surprising 
dexterity, and by beating it with a mallet cause the scales to 
fall off, and render it very supple. Clothes thus made are 
impervious to rain. The men wear a kind of blouse made 
of this skin, fastened in front, and confined round the waist 
by a leather belt, to which are suspended a number of 
articles of daily use. These articles are worked with much 
neatness, and consist of a large knife in a fur sheath (1); an 
iron instrument for cleaning the tobacco-pipe, the constant 
companion of men and women, for both sexes and even 
children are inveterate smokers (2) ; a curved knife for 
cutting fish (3) ; a tinder pouch (4) ; a steel for striking a 


light (5) ; a bone for smoothing their fish-skins and loosen- 
ing knots (6) ; a bag of fish-skin for tinder (7) ; a small 
bag with a whetstone (8) ; and a needle-case (9). In addition 


to the blouse, the men wear a short loose pair of trowsers, 
and shoes made of deer or seal-skin. During summer 
however, and when they are in their houses, they generally 
go bare-footed. They have leggings of birch-bark or cotton 
stuff up to the knee, tied round with strips of raw hide. 
Their hats are made of various materials, felt, birch-bark, 
straw, and in winter fiir, and are of various shapes. One of 
the Goldi in the wood-cut wears a conical hat of birch-bark, 
of a Chinese pattern, and beautifully carved. The other 
wears a peculiar head-dress, consisting of two ear-lappets 
attached to a head-band. The Orochi wears a straw-hat 
with a very wide brim. In winter the fish-skin dress is 
replaced by dresses made of dog and reindeer-skin and fur, 
the hair turned outside, and the fine Mangun gentleman, 
with his jovial face, dandified moustaches and beard a la 
Henri Quatre, conveys a good idea of the comfort which 
such a dress affords. 

B B 




As might be expected, the dress of the women here as 
elsewhere is of a more elaborate character. The loose gown 
of blue or white cotton stuff or fishskin is trimmed along 
the hem with coloured pieces of cloth or silk ribbons, small 
shells and Chinese coins. The skirt and body are em- 
broidered in red, blue, black or yellow, in various designs 


exhibiting much taste. They also wear aprons similarly 
ornamented to which are attached sometimes a small idol or 


two as charms. Their shoes and leggings are similar to 
those of the man. There is no lack of jewellery. Sometimes 
two or more pairs of ear-rings made of brass, silver or copper 
wires, with a glass-bead or Chinese coins as pendants are 


worn in the ears. The Goldi and Orochi occasionally wear 
a small nose-ring. Copper bracelets and necklaces of glass- 
beads are also worn. 

The habitations are regulated by the season and occupa- 
tion. Fishing is by far the most important of their employ- 
ments, for it not only supplies them with the chief article of 
food for themselves and dogs, but also with a material for 
their dress and lamp-oil for the winter months. They occa- 
sionally hunt in the summer, but only such animals as are 
valuable for their skins or flesh, and reserve the hunting of 
fur-bearing animals for the winter months. They are not 
thus nomades in the ordinary acceptation of that term, but 
nevertheless lead a very roving life, being frequently absent 
from home for months. During these temporary absences 
they occupy temporary dwellings, which they build where 
the fishing of the season promises to be most productive. 
The materials employed in the building of these summer- 
huts are birch-bark, sedge, the flexible boughs of the willow 
or very thin poles. The shape of the huts is either that of a 




bee-hive, or they are conical or square, the latter are called 
Da'urs. In front of these huts there are generally various 
fishing utensils, baskets, hatchets, small tables to cut the 



fish-skins on, and so forth. The interior is lighted by means 
of fish-oil kept burning outside the door, as there is no 

We find here again the small birch-bark canoe of the 
Manyargs, which carries one man. He propels it with a 
paddle, having a blade at each end, and which he dips 
alternately into the water on either side. They also have 
larger boats made of three principal planks, mostly of cedar- 

■Mrum&*B u/*^ 


wood, and fastened by means of wooden-pegs, and caulked 
with willow-bast. These boats are about fifteen feet long and 
sometimes carry sails. The bottom plank curves above the 
water and extends beyond the bow. There are wooden-pins 
on the gunwales, and the oars fit into them by holes, and 
the prow is often ornamented with a bird's head. Boats of 
this construction easily pass the many shallows of the river. 


These oars are nicely carved and painted black and red. 
One man takes his place at the stern, and the boat is rowed 
European fashion. The boatmen chaunt in a monotonous 
strain keeping time to the stroke of their oars. They are 
indeed expert rowers, and intimately acquainted with the 
intricate navigation of the river upon which they spend a 
great part of their life. As pilots they have been of great 
assistance to the Russians. In going against the stream the 
boat is often towed by dogs. Another kind of boat is 
hollowed out from the trunk of a tree, and is about ten feet 
long. The bow has the same construction as in the larger 

The fishing-tackle consists of harpoons, hooks and various 
kinds of nets. The harpoon is about five feet long and is 


provided with three iron prongs with teeth. To prevent 
the prongs being detached by the exertions the fish naturally 
makes to get rid of the unwelcome visitant, they are secured 
by a rope to a ring at the end of the handle of the harpoon. 
There is also an ingenious arrangement to indicate the 
position of the fish when once the harpoon has been thrown, 
for the fisherman does not retain it by a line. This consists 
of an inflated fish-bladder fastened to one of the prongs by a 
line thirty-five feet long. This bladder floats of course. 
When the fish has become exhausted, it is pulled out with a 
hook, and killed with a mallet. Ordinary fish-hooks fastened 
to a long switch, are also used. They are concealed by the 
tail of a squirrel, and vary in size according to the kind of 



fish it is intended to secure. The native smith displays great 
skill and dexterity in the manufacture of these fish-hooks. 
He sits on the ground with an anvil on his right hand. This 


anvil is square ; on one side it has two projections, on the 
opposite a long incision, and on the top a circular hole. 
There is a basin with charcoal between his feet and ho blows 
it with a pair of bellows, the nose of which passes through 


the hole of a stone, and which he works with his right foot. 
Having heated the iron in the charcoal, the smith shapes the 
hooks in the small cavity on the top of the anvil. He does 
not however confine himself to making hooks, and as far as 
the scarcity of iron admits of it, he manufactures other 
articles, and the annexed illustration of a spear-head may 
pass as a fair specimen of native industry. 



The nets of hemp or nettles, are made chiefly during the 
winter, when the whole family engages in this kind of work, 
sitting round a lamp fed with fish-oil. A small net of hemp, 
with floats of corkwood and a heavy weight of clay in the 
centre is used for catching small fish. On narrow rivers 
they employ a net above fifty feet long and seven feet wide, 
and without weights. This net is stretched across the river, 
and one of the men drives the fish towards it by making a 
great noise. Another kind is used for catching sturgeons 
and salmon in the Amur itself. This net is a sort of sack, 
with a circumference at the top of five feet, and a depth of 
two feet and a half. The meshes are two or three inches 
wide. One half of the top is provided with leaden weights, 
and the other with corks. At each end, where the corks 
and leads meet, is fastened a heavy stone and a rope. Two 
persons at least are required to drag this net. They sit each 
in his own boat, holding an end of one of the ropes, and drag 
the net between them. The leaded part of the net goes to 
the bottom, and the corks float, leaving thus an opening for 
the fish to get in, and the booty is cleverly pulled ashore. 

Another plan, and one most in vogue among the Goldi 
during autumn, when the fish descend to the sea, is this. 
For a distance of sixty feet from the bank of the river, a 
series of tressels, connected by crossbeams, are firmly fixed 
in the bottom. The space between them is filled up by a 
wicker-work of willows, leaving but a small opening for the 
fish to pass through. At this opening the Goldi lies in wait 
with his ordinary fishing net, and the number of fish he is 
thus enabled to take, with little trouble, is enormous. 

The fish, after being skinned and dried for a few days in 
the smoke of the cabin fires, is hung up in the sun, and in 
time acquires the hardness of wood. To prevent birds prey- 
ing upon the fish hung up, they are covered with a net, or 
guarded by a eagle, chained to the scaffolding. 

We will now leave these temporary cabins or lodges of the 



Tunguzians, and pay a visit to one of their villages, inhabited 
during winter, and at other periods of the year also, when 
not absent on a fishing expedition, or trading journey. The 
houses are built upon the plan of those of the Daurians 


which we have described before. They are commodious, 
about thirty-five to forty feet square, and afford accommoda- 
tion to a grandfather and the whole of his descendants, often 
to the number of thirty or forty of both sexes. The walls 
of the house are formed of poles, the interstices being plas- 
tered with a mixture of clay and straw. The roof is of 
birch-bark, with some poles and heavy stones placed upon it 
to prevent its oeing carried away by the wind. There are 
two or more windows, with wooden lattices, pasted over with 
paper during winter. In summer the window is closed by 
mats which roll up like blinds. Against one of the walls is 
the fire-place, with a large deep pan let into it, and a pot 
suspended over it from a rafter. Wooden pipes lead from 
this fire-place below the divan, and finally pass out of the 



house, as previously described. The floor is covered with 
clay, stamped down, and there is a hole in it, with charcoal 
burning summer and winter, for lighting the pipes, and 
warming the brandy (rakki), of which they are very fond. 
In the houses of the Manguns there is a table in the centre 
specially reserved for feeding the dogs, which they keep in 
much greater number than the Goldi. 

The household utensils are hung upon the rafters of the 
roof, and clothes and other articles are kept in cupboards. 
Part of one wall is reserved for religious purposes. Some 
pieces of coloured cloth, horsehair, fishes, bear-skulls, etc., are 
strung up here, as offerings to the idols. The Goldi. have also 
pictures of Chinese workmanship, but very badly executed, and 
for which they pay two or three sables each. In front of their 
houses they have idol-poles, facing the river. Maack describes 
some standing in front of a native hut at Silvi, below the 
mouth of the Simgari. The top of the centre pole is fashioned 


into a head — the eyes and mouth being indicated by incisions. 
On the flat surface of the pole towards the house, are repre- 
sented, beginning from the top, a human being, two animals, 


without tails, resembling frogs ; another human being ; two 
quadrupeds ; an animal with a short tail, and a third human 
being. On the side facing the river, the same objects are 
represented, excepting that two serpents take the place of 
the quadrupeds, and that the two animals without tails are 
provided with them here, and the other one is deprived of it 
At each side of this pole stands a block of wood in the shape 
of a human head, and outside these are two staves, one sur- 
mounted by a bird, the other by a quadruped. These idols 
are very rudely carved, and with nothing like the taste 
exhibited in the funereal huts and household utensils. As 
we descend the Amur we lose sight of these idols in front of 
the houses. Manchu influences are less perceptible, and in 
the houses of the Orochis we miss the ingenious arrangement 
for warming the hut, and carrying off the smoke. Their 
houses are built of wood and covered with birch-bark, but 
the fire-place, with its large cauldron, is in the centre, and 
the smoke escapes through door, roof, or window, as best it 
may. Ophthalmia is in consequence a frequent complaint. 
The huts which Tronson saw in Barracouta Bay (Port 
Imperial) appear to have served as a temporary residence 
during the fishing season only. From a ridge pole about 
six feet high, ribs of fir- wood reached to the ground and 
were covered with birch-bark. The door was a mere hole at 
the end of the hut, covered with skins. Within, the family 
squatted round a wood fire. The young branches of the fir 
spread on the ground served as beds, and the skins of foxes, 
dogs, bears, and stags, for covering. During winter, the 
Orochis occupy large subterranean dwellings similar to those 
of Kamchatka. 

Close to the dwelling-house is a scaffolding for drying fish 
and nets. To this are often chained tame eagles ; they are 
supplied with fish, and are supposed to prevent other birds 
from preying on it.. The tail feathers of this bird they use for 
winging their arrows, or they are taken to Sakhalin, and 

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purchased by the Japanese, who highly value them as an or- 
nament. To secure an eagle (Haliaetos albicella), the natives 
watch the eyrie and wait until the young birds are just 
able to fly. The tree is then felled, and the young eagles 
carried away. 

The storehouses are of wood, and stand upon poles five 
feet from the ground, to preserve the contents against wild 
animals. They are not locked, nor are their dwelling- 
houses, for honesty is one of the virtues most strictly 
observed among the savages, and theft is unheard of. 

There is another thing in each native village which 
deserves to be mentioned specially. We allude to the bear- 
cages. They are built of strong planks, and on one side they 
have an opening for the trough, above which is attached a 
peculiar kind of head-dress which the Shaman wears at 
funeral ceremonies, and a tassel of the bark of the lime-tree 
fixed to a small stick, which also appears to embody some 
religious idea. The bear (TTrsus arctos) being feared as a 
fierce antagonist is respected accordingly, and plays a part 
in the religious notions of these tribes. They speak of him 
as " Mafa," i.e., Chief, Elder, or, to distinguish him from the 
tiger, who is also " mafa," Sakhale mafa, i.e., Black chief. 


In hunting the bear the natives exhibit a great deal of 
intrepidity. In order not to excite his posthumous revenge, 
they never attempt to surprise him, but have a fair stand-up 
fight. When it is not desired to secure a bear alive, the 
Tunguze uses a spear, which he holds firmly planted in the 
ground, with the point directed towards the bear, upon 
which the beast throws himself. It is much more exciting 
sport to catch a living beast. A party of ten men or more, 


enter the forest provided with straps, a muzzle, and a collar 
with a chain attached to it. Having discovered the where- 
abouts of the beast, a battue is instituted. The individual 
near whom the bear debouches jumps upon his back in the 
twinkling of an eye, and seizes hold of his ears. Another 
man then rapidly throws a running knot round the neck of 
the beast, and almost suffocates him. He is then muzzled, 
and the collar is fastened round his neck, and the chain 
passed between the hind legs. He is led in triumph to the 
village, and put into his cage. These bear-hunta do not 
always pass without accident, and one frequently encounters 
an individual frightfully mutilated, a living witness of the 
dangers encountered with this redoubtable denizen of the 
forest. Once in his wooden cage, the bear is fattened on 
fish. On high festivals, when it is desired to lead him forth, 
some of the planks of the roof are taken out, and the beast is 
teased until it stands upon its hind legs, when a sling is 
thrown round its body, and the roof uncovered sufficiently 
for him to get out. Having succeeded in dragging him forth, 
one of the men jumps upon his back, again getting hold of 
the ears, whilst the others tie his paws, and place an iron 
chain in his mouth. He is then bound between two fixed 
poles, an involuntary witness of the frolicking going on 
before him. On very grand occasions, he takes a more direct 
share in the festival, by being killed with superstitious cere- 
monies, scrupulously observed on all such occasions. The 
skull, jawbones, and ears are then suspended on a tree, as an 
antidote against evil spirits ; but the flesh is eaten and much 
relished, for they believe that all who partake of it acquire 
a zest for the chase, and become courageous. Sometimes 
Bruin escapes this fate by scraping a large hole beneath his 
cage, and escaping to the forests. 

The bear has thus become, so to say, domesticated. Of 
other animals, besides the bear and the eagle, we find in the 
houses of the Goldi and Manguns the horned owl (Strix 



Bubo), of value for catching the numerous rats; the jay 
(Garrulus glandarius), the hawk (Astur palumbarius) or 
kite (Milvus niger), kept for no particular object, or merely 
for the sake of their feathers, which are used to wing arrows. 
The natives are also very fond of seeing swallows build in 
their houses, and to induce them to do so fasten small boards 
under the roof inside, to which the swallows have free 
access through the windows, doors or smoke-holes. 

Among the Ooldi of the Sungari the pig is of some impor- 
tance, but owing to its being fed exclusively upon fish it 
has a very disagreeable flavour, not at all palatable to 
Europeans. We also find a few cats, which are great 
favourites, but the clever Manchu introduce only castrated 
males in order not to spoil their trade. There are a few 
horses. But of all the domestic animals the dog is the most 
useful. He not only accompanies his master in the chase, 
drags the boats during summer and the sledge during 
winter, but his skin supplies a material for dress. We are 
not aware whether dog-flesh is considered a culinary article ; 
at all events it would prove a very tough bit of meat. The 
dogs used in hunting do not generally draw the sledge. 

Agriculture is unknown among the tribes now under 
consideration, and the Goldi of the Sungari alone cultivate 
small plots of ground, which produce vegetables and 

In hunting they employ bows and spears, and in winter 



pursue the beasts on snow-shoes. A snare is laid for sables ; 
those on the Lower Amur however are of little value, but 
other beasts are frequently caught in it, much to the dis- 
appointment of the huntsman. It consists of a cross-bow, 


strongly bent, and fixed in the cleft of some tree, the arrow 
being retained merely by a horse-hair. A string with a but 
is placed in the track frequented by the sables, and the arrow 
is discharged at the slightest touch. To be struck by the 
arrow is not however certain death, and to impede as much 
as possible the flight of the animal after being hit, the 
arrow-head on striking becomes detached from the shaft, 
but being still connected with it by a string, the shaft gets 
entangled in the low brushwood and prevents the animal 
from extricating itself. 


The most redoubtable foe encountered by the natives is 
the tiger, and they are consequently very superstitious with 
regard to him, and are reluctant even to speak about him 
for fear of evil consequences. Images of the tiger are 
carved in wood and placed at the foot of large trees in the 
forest, or worn as charms, which are supposed to protect the 
bearer against his attacks. Still the Goldi occasionally kill 
a tiger, and appear very proud of the achievement ; when 
this happens they fasten the animal to a wall of their 
houses, and the whole family passes in review before him, 
doing homage by bending low, and sarcastically addressing 
him aa " My Lord." The skin soon finds its way into the 



hands of the Manchu, and is worn by high officials. The 
panther (Felis Irbis) is more feared than the tiger, and even 
the Goldi dare not attack him. 

As regards the religion of these tribes, they certainly 
have some notion of a Supreme Being, but as this Being 
is ever benevolent they do not deem it worth while to 
address to him any particular worship. Their worship 
is addressed to good and evil spirits, who must be ap- 
peased or propitiated by the intercession of the Shaman. 
Images of these genii carved in wxkkL may be seen in 
abundance everywhere. They sometimes represent human 
figures bedizened with bits of coloured cloth or with furs, 


and about a foot and a half high. Others resembling 
animals, such as the bear, tiger, frog or serpent, are worn 
as talismans. A third kind of idols, also carved in wood, 
are intended as companions to the native on his journeys. 
They are the gods Tanya and Panya, and when addressed in 
prayer are placed upon a pillow, which at night serves to 
support the head of the supplicant. There are also idols on 
the summits of mountains, before which stand small boxes 


containing millet or sand, and iron pots. The supplicant 
haying elicited sweet sounds from the pot by striking it with 


a stick, throws a small piece of wood or straw into the box 
as an offering to the god. They use moreover a kind of 
libation, for when the Japanese traveller Rinso passed the 
so-called Tatar monument at Tyr, the natives, looking up 
towards them, threw some millet into the river. 

It is the special business of the Shaman to invoke the 
assistance of the good spirits and to propitiate the evil, for 
sickness and all other mishaps are ascribed to the working of 
malignant spirits. Thus when a person falls sick, both 
doctor and patient deck themselves with wooden shavings, 
and the Shaman, beating his drum, chauntinghis monotonous 
strain, and burning bog-moss as incense, calls upon the* 
particular spirit to leave his patient. Or instead of making 
a direct appeal, he addresses himself to its idol, bearing a 
branch of the sacred Ayan pine in his hand. There is a 
distinct spirit for every disease. A bandage round the head 
with images of serpents, toads and other animals stuck on, is 
worn for headache; a dog cut out of grass-leaves against 
sexual diseases, and so forth. The custom of wearing an 
image of the diseased part as a kind of amulet has been 
mentioned before, and the manner of invoking the aid of the 
spirits at the commencement of the fishing or hunting season 



has been graphically described by M. de la Bruni&re 
(p. 93). 

It is seen thus that the Shamans wield a great power; but 
their responsibility is equally great, for whilst ordinary 
people pass after death without fail to heaven, the Shaman is 
liable to go to hell should he during his lifetime abuse the 
power he possesses over evil spirits to the detriment of his 
fellow creatures. This hell is of course a loathsome place, 
where the soul of the departed is tormented by gnawing 
insects. But neither is the heaven particularly inviting, for 
the departed lead a life there, the very counterpart of that 
they lead on earth. We may suppose however that fish and 


game are more abundant, and that the influence of evil 
spirits ceases within its sacred precincts. 

Much respect is shown to the dead. The corpse is placed 
in a rude coffin made of the trunk of a tree or of some 
planks, and a very neat house erected over it, in the 
building of which the artistic taste of the Goldi and Manguns 
allows itself free scope. The funeral huts, of the Shamans 



especially, exhibit native workmanship of a very superior 
order. Near these tombs are hung up nets, bows and spears 
which the deceased is supposed to require, and offerings of 
food are made to the soul of the departed. They also make 
an idol of wood, the face of which they besmear with oil, and 
believe that it is entered by the soul of the deceased, before 
passing to the subterranean heaven, when the idol is broken. 
Those of the Orochi are of a more humble kind, and contain 
several coffins placed side by side. Poor people are simply 
laid in a coffin and lodged in the forked branches of some 
tree, out of the reach of wild animals. 

The character of these tribes is pourtrayed as being rather 
timid and good-natured, and strictly honest. They reverence 
old age and are kind to their children. The latter, while 
infants, are kept among the Manguns and Orochi in an 


oblong box ; whilst the Goldi strap them down in a basin- 
shaped cradle, ornamented with small coins, and suspended 
by means of an iron hoop to a rafter in the house. The 
Orochi women suckle their children until they are three 
or four years of age. 

The females assist their lords in many ways, but are by no 
means oppressed. The heavier work is undertaken by the 
men, and though the women row boats, and evidently de- 
light in doing so, this is not degrading, compared with what 
we may see any day at Boulogne, where old women toil up 
hill with a heavily-laden truck, whilst the husband stands 
by, smoking imperial and drinking his litre on the fruits of 


her labour. There is no regular form of government unless 
we may so name that which is exercised by the Manchu, 
whose only care is to extort as many sables as they can. 
Children up to a certain age are under the tutelage of their 
parents. The father chooses his son's bride, while that son 
is still in his infancy, and the intended bride with the con- 
sent of her parents comes to live with her future parents-in- 
law, and both are brought up as brother and sister. When 
the boy is eighteen and the girl fifteen, marriage is generally 
consummated, but there are some wise old men who see in 
these early marriages the decay of their tribe, and make 
their children wait until they are twenty or more. Polygamy 
is not generally practised, for if anything the number of 
women is inferior to that of the men. It is nevertheless 
usual that a man should inherit his deceased brother's wife 
as well as his personal estate. 

Wrestling is one of the favourite amusements of the men. 
They lay hold of their belts, and in this way seek to throw 
their opponents. A literature of course is not to be sought 
for among a people who have no written language, and but 
few of whom know how to read or write Chinese. Nor do 
any traditions of past times appear to exist amongst them. 
They improvise songs, which are however devoid of any 
artistic arrangement. One of the guides of Veniukof on 
nearing his home, sang of the rapid river, which he should 
not much longer navigate ; of his being soon at home where 
a pretty wife expected him, whilst his mother was fretting at 
his absence. He introduced into this strain — which according 
to circumstances was joyful or plaintive — the Russians, 
the country traversed, the difficulties surmounted — but all 
this pell-mell, and without any inherent connection. Still 
Veniukof appears too severe when he denies to the Goldi and 
Orochi all feelings of poetry. 

In one respect we cannot withhold our admiration from 

cc 2 



the Tunguzians. The manner in which they adorn their 
tombs, dresses and household utensils cannot be sufficiently 
praised. They make use of the colours ,at their disposal 
with much taste. Blue is the favourite, and they also use 
red, black, green and brown. For cutting out their fish-skin 


patterns, or carving in wood they have a short knife. We 
cannot resist the temptation of giving a few specimens of 

No. 1. 

No. 3. 

native designs. The first is a small 
would be no discredit to Bond-street. 

bag for tinder, which 



The second is a box made of birch-bark, and the third a 
design cut in fish-skin. 

The Gilyaks. 

The Gilyaks inhabit the banks of the Lower Amur, below 
Pul, and the northern portion of Sakhalin, their limits on 
the island being on the west coast the village of Pilyavo, 
50° 10' N. lat. ; and on the east coast about 50° 30' N. lat. 


There are several tribes of these Gilyaks, those of the main- 
land, the Smerenkur of the west coast of Sakhalin, and the 
Tro of the east coast, but the distinction between them is 
trifling. Nor do they differ much in outward appearance 
from their Tunguzian neighbours. The features are still 
Mongol, the nose is rather flat, the eyes are small, the lips 
are voluptuous, the eyebrows bushy, and the beard is 
stronger than with the Tunguzians. They do not shave 
the head, but wear the hair tied up into a thick tail or in 


tresses. The Russians describe their women as frights, bat 
tastes are not always the same, and Rimso, the Japanese, says 
they are very comely, and doubly attractive on account of 
their daily ablutions. Their dress does not vary much from 
that of the Tunguzians. They wear large boots of seal-skin, 
or sometimes cotton, and a blouse of Chinese pattern. The 
use of fish-skins is much more restricted. 

Their habitations are wooden houses, the interior often 
partitioned off into two apartments, the first of which serves 
as a kind of ante-roflm, whilst the second is that generally 
inhabited. The fire is in the centre of this second room, 
and the smoke escapes through a hole in the roof. Father 
Furet* describes a dwelling-house in Jonquiere Bay, con- 
structed on the same principle as the store-houses of the 
Tunguzians. This house was built upon stakes, about four 
feet above the ground. It was about thirty feet long and 
fifteen wide, and there was a small platform in front, access 
to which was gained by the trunk of a tree, which had 
rough steps cut into it. On this verandah, arrows, bows 
and spears, with light sledges were disposed in pleasing 
variety. The walls and floors were made of the trunks of 
trees, the interstices filled up with birch-bark or leaves, and 
the roof was covered with birch-bark. There were two 
rooms. The dogs have admittance to the rooms, but are 
generally tied up underneath the building, or to a rail near 
the houses. They are neither vicious nor cowardly, and 
their masters show great reluctance to part with them. In 
addition to dogs, the Gilyaks keep sometimes an ermine 
(Mustela erminea) to kill rats. Wealthy individuals keep 
a tom-cat. They also have bear-cages near their villages, 
and when they kill the beast, they split the skull and suspend 
it in their houses. Fish, prepared with herbs, roots and 

R Lettres sur l'Archipel Japonais et la Tartaric Oriental. Par le 
P. Furet. Paris, 1800. 


train-oil, constitutes their principal food. Sometimes they 
procure a little millet or rice from the Manchu o* Japanese 
in exchange for furs. At meal-time much attention is shewn 
to the position of each individual, and the person highest in 
rank occupies the centre seat. The character given to these 
Gilyaks is far from favourable. Schrenck says, that the 
Gilyaks of the mainland are avaricious and covetous in their 
commercial transactions, but that among those of Sakhalin 
this propensity seeks satisfaction in theft and robbery. The 
Gilyaks of the northern portion of the island are parti- 
cularly notorious in this respect, and never fail to exhibit 
such friendly sentiments towards ship- wrecked whalers. It 
will be remembered that the missionary, De la Bruni&re, met 
his death at the hand of Gilyaks, who were induced to com- 
mit this outrage by the little merchandise he had with him. 
Murder is of frequent occurrence among the Gilyaks, and 
it is often the result of trifling causes, a feeling of jealousy 
or an offensive allusion. Blood demands blood, and the 
family of a murdered man is bound to avenge his death 
upon the murderer or one of his relatives. There are 
instances where this blood-feud has been carried on for 

If we may credit the statement of Rinso, polyandry pre- 
vails among the Smerenkur Gilyaks, and the women are 
treated with the greatest indulgence. Only those however 
skilled in the* use of the needle can expect to get married. 
The children, as among the Goldi, are strapped down on a 
kind of board serving as a cradle, and hung up in that 
position to a rafter of the roof. 

The Gilyaks, like the Tunguzians, put their faith in 
wooden idols, representing good or evil spirits, and whom 
they worship with the assistance of the Shamans. They are 
even more superstitious than the Tunguzians. A Gilyak would 
not for instance permit any fire to be taken from his hut, 
not even in a pipe, nor would he allow any to be imported 

392 aino. 

for were be to do so, he would have ill-luck in the fishing or 
the hunt, or lose one of his relatives by death. The tiger is 
much more feared than among the Goldi, and its appearance 
portends evil. If the remains of a man are found who has 
been killed by a tiger, they are buried on the spot without 
any further ceremony. The burial rites ordinarily are of 
a rather imposing character. The body is first burnt on a 
funeral-pyre, and a small wooden house is erected over the 
carefully-gathered ashes. The favourite dog of the deceased, 
having been fattened previously, is killed on the grave, and 
the soul of the deceased, which until then took up its abode 
in the dog, is thus released and descends into — heaven. 
Small sacrifices of fish, tobacco or similar objects are from 
time to time taken to the tomb, the shed above which is 
cleared away after a lapse of two years. 

In each dwelling-house, there is small shrine with an 
idol, and the heads of seals and fishes are sacrificed on the 
shore to the sea-god. 

The Aino. 

The Aino occupy the southern portion of Sakhalin, part of 
Yeso and some of the Kuriles. Our remarks have of course 
especial reference to the Aino of Sakhalin. Aino, in their 
language, signifies " Man." In the historical records of the 
Japanese, they are referred to as Eastern savages, and about 
660 b.c. they still occupied the northern provinces of 
Nippon. It was not until the close of the ninth century 
that the Aino of Nippon became really subject to the 
Japanese. In course of time they disappeared on Nippon as 
a separate people, they were either exterminated, emigrated 
to Yeso or became amalgamated with the Japanese. In the 
fourteenth century the Japanese extended their dominion to 
Yeso, and at the commencement of this present century they 


crossed over to Sakhalin, by them called Oke or Northern 
Teso where they formed several settlements. 

In language and appearance the Aino differ totally from 
their neighbours the Gilyak and Oroki, and the Tunguzian 
tribes of the Amur. Their average stature is five feet four 
inches, none of them being above five feet nine inches. 
They are squat and strong-built, and have the muscles of 
their body well-defined. The head* is large, and the face 
broader and more rounded than with Europeans. Their 
countenance is animated and agreeable, though destitute of 
that regularity and grace which in Europe are deemed 
essential to beauty. They have large cheeks, a short nose, 
rotihded at the tip, with very broad nostrils. Their eyes are 
of moderate size and lively, for the most part black, though 
occasionally blue may be seen. The eyebrows are bushy ; 
the mouth of the common size and the voice strong. The 
lips are rather thick and of a dull red; several have the 
upper lip tattoed or tinged blue. Their teeth are white and 
regular, the chin rounded and a little retreating. The ears 
are small and ornamented with glass-beads or silver ear- 
rings. The nails are allowed to grow long. The skin is of 
a tawny colour. It is however the quantity of hair which 
distinguishes ' these savages most strikingly from their 
neighbours, and the Eastern Asiatics generally. They wear 
moustaches and long beards reaching down to the middle of 
the breast. The arms, chest, neck and back are very hairy ; 
individuals, however, quite as hairy may be found in Europe. 
Krusenstern examined a child of eight years of age in Mord- 
vinof Bay (east coast, 47° north latitude), the body of which 
was entirely covered with hair, whilst its parents were not 
hairy. The women are much smaller than the men ; they 

* Circumference of the head 23-80 inches ; its longest diameter 10*30 
inches; its shortest diameter 6*83. Bollin in la Penrose's Travels 
vol. ii. p. 298. 

394 aino. 

are not very prepossessing. Whittingham says they are 
ugly. They wear the hair long and flowing, tattoo their 
upper Up and sometimes the hands. But though Whitting- 
ham is rather hard upon the fair sex, he does ample justice 
to the men. " One of them was a magnificent savage : tall, 
lithe, straight and strong, with hair, beard and moustaches 
never desecrated by the touch of scissors; with a high, 
broad brow, dark eyes, straight nose and oval face, he was a 
far nobler creature than the Bed Indian whom I always 
fancied was the pride of wild men." b 

The Aino of Aniva Bay show their subjection to the 
Japanese by shaving the crown of the head, and wearing 
a Japanese dress. 

The Aino are acquainted with the use of the weaver's 
loom, and manufacture cloth from the bark of the willow- 
tree. They also employ the spindle to make thread from the 
hair of animals, willow-bast or the great nettle. They 
generally wear a loose robe of such material or of nankeen, 
buttoned in front and bound by a girdle round the waist. 
During winter they dress in dog-skins or seal-skins. Their 
boots are made of seal-skins, in Chinese style. They are 
very fond of ornamenting their clothing with small bits of 
coloured cloth which they obtain from the Amur. The 
natives whom Krusenstern found at Mordvinof Bay wore a 
cotton shirt underneath their seal-skin robe, which in every 
instance was scrupulously clean. Most of the men wore no 
head-dress at all ; some wear straw hats, a band of bear-skin 
round the head or a seal-skin hat. 

Their houses are rough log-huts, the interstices filled up 
with birch-bark and dry leaves ; the roof is covered with 
birch-bark or thatched with straw. The door, at the gable, 
is very low. The fire-place is in the centre of the apart- 
ment and the smoke escapes through the roof. Benches 

b Whittingham. 

aino. 395 

eight or ten inches high run round the wall. Sometimes the 
house is divided into two rooms. During winter they dwell 
in subterranean habitations. The store-houses are similar to 
those of the Tunguzians. They also have cages with bears 
near their habitations, and the captive is well fed with fish. 

La Perouse found in d'Estaing Bay fifteen to twenty stakes 
standing, each surmounted with the head of a bear, in a 
more or less advanced state of decomposition. The festival 
Omsia takes place in autumn, and the bear plays an im- 
portant part. A neat hut covered with branches of trees 
is erected outside the village and in it the head of a newly- 
killed bear is fastened to the wall, surrounded by a trophy 
composed of arms. The Aino squat down on mats in front 
of this hut, and pass the time in eating, drinking, singing 
and dancing. The principal dish at this festival is soup 
with bear's-meat, with which they drink sake or rice- 

The Aino do not cultivate the ground, but are satisfied 
with collecting some" plants — the roots of the yellow lily and 

r Siebold, Nippon, xvii. 

396 aino. 

angelica— which they dry in the sun. Their chief supply of 
food is drawn from fishing. They throw away the head, 
tail and backbone of the fish, and dry and smoke the re- 
mainder. On the thumb they wear a thick ring of ivory, 
horn or lead, to protect themselves when skinning the fish. 
In the preparation of food little salt is used, but the more 
train-oil, which they pretend keeps off the stomach-ache. 
Their arms consist of bows and arrows, javelins and pikes. 
They make use of poisoned arrows when hunting the bear, 
but sometimes the poison does not take instantaneous effect, 
and the enraged beast falls upon the hunter, who has to 
defend himself with his spear. The produce of the chase is 
trifling, and dried fish and oil supply the chief articles of 
export. They carry on commerce with the Japanese and 
with the Manchu on the Amur. Their boats are made of a 
hollowed-out oak-tree, or of planks fastened with wooden pegs. 
They never venture far from the land. At night they pull 
the boat ashore, and erect a temporary hut of birch-bark, 
which they carry along with them for that purpose. Rinso 
informs us that when the " Santans " — the country on the 
Lower Amur is called Santan by the Japanese — arrive in 
their small boats they place the merchandise they wish to 
sell on the shore and retire. The Aino then approach, 
inspect it and replace it by the furs they desire to exchange. 
Sometimes the Aino wish to eschew payment altogether, but 
if the accounts are not adjusted in the following year, the 
Santans carry off a brother, sister or child of the delinquent 
as security. According to the same authority, trade in 
human beings is carried on along the west coast of Sakhalin, 
and the people of Yeso come here to sell slaves to the 
" Santans," that is the Manchu. Poor or valueless persons, 
such as widows or widowers, old maids and bachelors, 
orphans or idiots, are disposed of in this way for three to 
seven pieces of gold-stuff a head. If this is true, the 
character given to the Aino by European travellers — that 



they are solemn and striking in their bearing, distinguished 
by goodness of heart, and strangers to avarice and rapacity — 
requires to be considerably modified. This statement is 
corroborated in so far as slavery is an institution in Man- 
churia, where many slaves are found in the retinue of the 
military nobles. 

We know but little of the religious notions of the Aino, 
except that they appear to resemble in this respect the 


Gilyaks and Tunguzians. After death the entrails are taken 
out through the anus, and this last service is performed by 
some relative or friend, who had already undertaken this 
obligation during the life-time of the deceased. The body is 
then exposed in the open air for thirty days and dried, when 
it is put into a tomb, above which a small wooden house is 
erected. Poor people merely cut down a tree near the place 


of burial, to within a short distance from the ground, carve 



designs round the stump, and set up the symbols of the Aino 
protective deity, Inao, — a short pole with a tassel suspended 
from the end of it. (See p. 379). 

The Oroke, or Orotskos on Sakhalin. 11 


The Orotskos are few in number, and occupy the interior of 
Sakhalin and its eastern coast. Their language diners from 
that of the Aino, and according to Schrenck, they are Tun- 
guzians. They do not shave the head, but allow the hair to 
fall over the shoulders, or tie it up in a tail which hangs 
down behind. Their women plait or curl the hair, and 
according to Mamia Rinso, the Japanese traveller, are very 
good-looking. They moreover possess the art of making 
themselves agreeable to the male sex, wash the face and 
body, and comb the hair. They wear large ear-rings. The 

Mamia Rinso, in Siebold's u Nippon." 

OROT8KOS. 389 

men wear smaller ones. Their dress is made of fish or seal- 
skin ; the trowsers of deer-skin. The gowns of the women 
are ornamented with brass baubles, and they wear linen 
aprons, the material being procured in trading journeys to 
the Amur. The Orotskos have no permanent habitations, 
but dwell in yurts like the Orochons of the Upper Amur. 
Their store-houses are also similar, and are left standing 
when the owner removes. The only domestic animal of this 
tribe is the reindeer, and a man owning twelve of them is 
considered well off. The reindeer carry burthens or draw 
the sledge. During summer, they are pastured in the plains, 
and in the winter taken to the mountains, where their food 
consists of lichens and mosses. They are afraid of dogs, and 
will not enter a village where these are kept. The character 
of the Orotskos is described as rough and unbridled. 

A murderer is obliged to surrender the whole of his pro- 
perty to the relatives of his victim. The dead are placed in 
coffins, and exposed in the open air, in the same manner as 
with the Orochis of Castries Bay. 

The food of the Orotskos consists of fish, meat, roots, and 
herbs. They use bows, arrows, and spears. Their boats are 
of the same build as those of the Ainos, but larger and 




In considering the commercial resources of the Amur country 
itself, we need say but little, all of the products having been 
enumerated in previous chapters. We have seen that there 
is an inexhaustible stock of timber and firewood. Varieties 
of excellent hard wood are supplied by the maple, walnut, 
buckthorn, ash, elm, a good substitute for the oak, which on 
the Amur is often rotten to the core, and generally inferior 
to the oaks of Europe ; the cork tree not only supplies cork, 
but also a superior hard wood ; the Maackia is well suited for 
cabinet work. Trees with soft wood are the poplar, aspen, 
larch, pitch, spruce, cedar, and Scotch fir; the conifers, 
besides furnishing excellent timber, yielding also turpentine* 
pitch, tar, and rosin. There are various kinds of apple and 
plum (cherry) trees, and some of our European fruit trees, 
which do not succeed in Siberia, might no doubt be cultivated 
on the Amur. Such is not however the case as regards the 
vine ; for though grapes half an inch in diameter are found 
on the southern Amur, the berries are tart and not juicy. 
Humboldt says (Kosmos i. p. 350), " In order to produce a 
drinkable wine, the mean annual temperature must not only 
exceed 49° R, but a mild winter of 32° 90' F. must be suc- 
ceeded by a summer temperature of at least 64°." These 
climatological conditions do not exist on the Amur, for 
though the summer temperature on the southern parts of 


that river exceeds 64°, the winters are extremely severe, and 
moreover frosts in spring and autumn are unfavourable to 
the cultivation of the vine. This does not however refer to 
Victoria Bay, where the wild vine has also been found 
to grow luxuriantly, and where the climatological conditions 
are much more favourable. 

With regard to the produce of the forests we must observe, 
that the export of timber is strictly prohibited, though any 
one is permitted to cut trees for building purposes or for fuel, 
and many square miles of forest are burnt down annually 
through the carelessness or thoughtless avarice of huntsmen. 
In Canada the exports of timber and ashes amount to 48 per 
cent, of the total exports of the country ! 

Among the cereals which may be and are cultivated on 
the Amur, rye, no doubt, will occupy the most important 
place. Barley, oats, and wheat, are also cultivated success- 
fully. In addition we find various kinds of millet (sorghum). 
Maize would certainly thrive well if introduced. The culti- 
vation of cereals promises however to become remunerative 
only between the Dzeya and Mariinsk. At Nikolayevsk and 
Castries Bay even barley does not succeed, and on the Upper 
Amur, including Dauria, the yield is rendered precarious by 
early frosts in autumn. Of other food-plants, we may men- 
tion buck-wheat, potatoes, and most of our European 

The extreme moisture of many localities, as for instance 
along the Usuri, caused by a superabundance of forest land, 
will no doubt injuriously affect agriculture for some time to 
come. We are however justified in believing that with the 
partial destruction of the forests, the climate will become 
drier. Dauria, for example, which in by-gone times had a 
moist climate, now suffers occasionally from drought, and 
this is the case, to a much greater extent, in the now desolate 
regions west of the Quathlamba mountains in South Africa. 

Tobacco, hemp, flax, and linseed will become of value. 

D D 


The natives also use a kind of nettle for manufacturing their 

Passing next to the animal creation, we find a great abund- 
ance of fish, and numerous fur-animals. The former, in fact, 
furnish most of the natives with their principal article of 
food, but with an increased settlement of the country this 
resource may be exhausted. Such is the case even to a 
greater degree with the fur and other wild animals, which 
future generations will exterminate. West of the Yablonoi 
mountains the scarcity of game is even now the cause of great 
distress, and as a proof we select the following extract from 
a lecture by Mr. Radde, delivered before the Russian Academy 
of Sciences, in March, 1860. 

" There, in the dense forest, where the sable loves nightly 
to follow his prey, and the huntsman pursues his daily toil, 
we see a human being, stagger panting towards the valley, 
where a flickering flame indicates the resting-place of all he 
most cherishes. It is late. Five days have elapsed, and he 
has captured no game, which, formerly so abundant, has 
quitted these regions ; the small store of flour has been con- 
sumed; and weeks ago the last tame reindeer was killed. 
The muscles of his enfeebled body are powerless, and the 
star-light shines upon a visage full of cares. The savage has 
a father's heart too, which sinks within him as he pictures 
grinning death hovering round that fire. 

" Anxiously the looks of the expectant ones meet those of 
the comer ; no other demonstration ; no word is exchanged. 
The infant at the breast sucks a piece of leather, and silently 
the mother turns her back towards the fire, to sleep, perchance 
the sleep of eternity." 

But independently of game and fish, the Amur is valuable 
as a cattle-breeding country. There are thousands of square 
miles of excellent pasture-land, where millions of sheep, 
cattle and horses might find an easy sustenance. With 
proper management, the severe winter and snow would prove 


no obstacle; the real obstacle must be sought for in the 
character of the Russian population at present settled there. 
German colonists from the steppes of Southern Russia, well 
acquainted with the breeding of cattle, have however been 
sent for, and are expected in this or the next year. 

Nor are the mineral riches of the Amur to be despised ; 
and since the whole of Siberia has been thrown open to 
private enterprise, we may reasonably expect to see them 
explored at some period not very far distant* Coals have 
been discovered at several places on the Amur itself, on the 
Bureya, and on Sakhalin island. Gold is found in several 
localities; iron is reported to exist, whilst there is every 
probability of there being other minerals in the country. 

Among minor articles of export, large quantities of the 
ginseng-root which is cultivated on Russian territory by 
Chinese settlers on the Upper Usuri will form no inconsi- 
derable portion. The ginseng (Panax ginseng) is superior, 
at all events, to the so-called ginseng (Panax sessiflorum) of 
the United States, the exports of which in 1858 amounted to 
366,053 pounds, valued at 193,736 dollars. 

These then are the various articles of raw produce, avail- 
able as exports. A manufacturing industry does not as yet 
exist, but might be advantageously established for some 
branches. A great abundance of cattle would favour the 
manufacture of leather, and that of sheep the manufacture 
of coarse cloths. Cotton stuffs, for the present at least, are 
not to be thought of. We are not however very sanguine 
as regards manufactures. Siberia has hitherto been obliged 
to rest satisfied with the miserable and expensive manufac- 
tures of the country, but would cease to do so if once the 
Amur were thrown open to foreign commerce with unre- 
stricted competition. The settlers would then find it more 
advantageous to supply raw produce in return for manufac- 
tures and colonial goods. 

Now as regards imports. Merchants desirous to trade 



with the natives ought to supply themselves with cotton 
stuffe, cloth, daba (a coarse woollen stuff), common Russian 
tobacco (which, owing to its narcotic qualities, is preferred to 
the Manchurian and even American), powder and lead, 
knives, millet, rice, brandy, small nicknacks of gilt or 
silvered copper, common glass and amber beads, and blue 
and black plush. Bed, black and blue are the favourite 
colours. Spirits however meet with the surest sale among 
natives and Russians alike. 

The wants of the Russian garrison and colonists are far 
more comprehensive. Colonial goods, sugar, coffee and 
spices ; tea, spirits, wines and beer ; rice and for some time 
at least, wheat and other cereals ; arms, cutlery, cigars and 
superior kinds of tobacco ; manufactured goods of all kinds, 
agricultural implements, dress-stufls, glass-ware, etc., would 
meet with a ready sale. For though many articles are 
produced in Siberia, they cannot compete in price or quality 
with European goods. Nor have the manufacturers of 
European Russia any chance as long as free-trade obtains on 
the Amur. 

We will next look at the countries with which the Amur 
provinces have entered into commercial intercourse. Of 
these the province of Transbaikal is the most important. 
It not only sent the first colonists to the Amur, but at a 
great sacrifice supplied them with the necessaries of life, 
and still does so, the imports by sea far from supplying 
the wants of settlers and garrisons. The government of 
Transbaikal had in 1851 a population of 327,908 souls, 
on an area of 213,547 square miles. We will here 
confine our remarks to that part of Transbaikal east of 
the Tablonoi range, and at the head-waters of the Amur. 
Here, as elsewhere in Siberia, the population is a mixture of 
involuntary immigrants, belonging to the various tribes of 
European Russia, with the aborigines. The result has not 
been favourable, and indolence, and the vices which follow 


in its wake, distinguish the population. Need we therefore 
be surprised that in spite of the well-meant exertions of 
government, agriculture and every other branch of industry- 
are still in their infancy ? The chief riches of Transbaikal 
consist in its mines.' Silver, gold, lead, tin, copper, iron, 
coal, mercury and black-lead are found, but the three former 
alone appear to be explored to any extent, and yield annually 
145 cwt. of silver, 54 cwt. of lead, and from 25 cwt. to 
70 cwt. of gold. The mines have been hitherto worked by 
government exclusively, and with forced labour, but have 
been thrown open to private enterprize since 1859. There 
is a great deficiency of iron implements. Badde saw four 
looking-glasses of the value of £28 each in one room 
of a rich Cossack. But if you were to ask for a nail in 
this establishment, your host, though he owns one thou- 
sand horses and five hundred bullocks, and is said to have 
hoarded up £1,500, would not be able to supply your want. 
And when he sends his people into the forest to fell wood, 
he has to borrow hatchets from his neighbours. 

Cattle-rearing might become of equal importance with 
mining. In 1849, there were in the whole province 300,000 
horses, 300,000 head of horned cattle, 500,000 sheep, and 
5,000 camels, besides pigs. Badde found on the steppes of 
Southern Dauria, — steppes having an area of 5,200,000 acres 
—70,000 sheep, 24,000 horses, 20,000 head of horned cattle. 
In Southern Russia, the relative proportion of the animals 
is very different; 2*7 acres are reckoned to a sheep, and 
one horse or head of horned cattle is reckoned to from 
150 to 250 sheep. The number of sheep might thus be 
easily increased twenty-five fold. Moreover the popula- 
tion here is not at all acquainted with the treatment of 
cattle, and if you suggest any improvement, they merely 

* Transbaikal, by N. S. Sh'chukin, in the Journal of the Ministry of 
the Interior, 1853. 


shrug their shoulders, and tell you they do not understand 
these things, they do not suit them, their fathers before 
them did as they do, and so forth. The wool is allowed to 
remain on the sheep until it is ready to fall off, and then 
it is plucked off with the hand. Butter cleanly prepared is 
scarcely ever found among the Cossacks. A good round 
sum might nevertheless be realised by making butter and 
cheese. At Irkutsk a pound of bad salt butter costs seven- 
pence, and a pound of fresh butter one shilling. An exiled 
Pole, residing at Petrovskoi Zavod, made some cheese in 
1856, and sold it at one shilling and sixpence a pound. 

Many localities are suitable for agriculture ; but Dauria 
can never expect to become an exporting country on a large 
scale, for the harvest, on account of the early frosts and 
dry summers, is often precarious. On favourable soil, six 
or seven-fold is considered a good harvest, but exceptionally, 
after three or four bad years, it is sixty-fold. In their 
agricultural operations the inhabitants are as far behind as 
in their cattle-rearing. No manure is used, though plenty 
may be had ; the field is allowed to lie fallow for a year, 
and there is no regular rotation of crops. Ploughs are 
unknown, and the Siberian sokha alone is used. Vegetables, 
even potatoes, are cultivated only in the gardens. The quan- 
tity of hemp raised is very small. The present colonists of 
the Amur, having most of them been transferred from Trans- 
baikal, are imbued of course with this ignorance and these 
prejudices. The manufacturing industry is extremely re- 
stricted. Leather is made on the Argun ; but this manufac- 
ture will naturally be removed to the Southern Amur, where 
oak-bark for tanning is abundant. There is a glass manu- 
factory at Shilkinsk, producing glass and bottles of a very 
inferior description, which cannot expect to find a market 

b These are wholesale prices, and about fifty per cent, must be added 
as salesmen's profits. 


beyond the country and Mongolia. At Chita a large 
manufactory for making candles, soap and rope, has been 
established, but on account of the difficulty of procuring 
the raw material, its activity is much less than the proprietor 
could wish. At the same town a number of establishments 
for curing and smoking beef and pork have been opened, 
but their meat can scarcely be called edible. A Hamburg 
merchant, in conjunction with a St. Petersburg firm, has 
therefore resolved to send some person acquainted with this 
business. The salt which can be procured in the steppes, 
and may become of importance as an article of trade, is 
at present taken from some lakes, where it crystalizes spon- 
taneously after a hot summer. Vast tracts are covered with 
worm-wood and other true salt-plants, and potash might 
thus be procured easily, and in abundance. 

It now remains for us to see in how far Transbaikal and 
Eastern Siberia generally would profit by the Amur being 
opened to navigation. The conveyance of a ton of mer- 
chandise from London to Nikolayevsk amounts to £4 or £5, 
or about five shillings the cwt. Thence to Chita on the 
Ingoda, the head of navigation on the Amur, is a distance of 
2,260 miles, c but owing to the want of steamers of suitable 
draft, Stretyinsk, 250 miles below Chita, is the highest 
point to which steamers usually ascend. In 1860 the charge 
for conveying a cwt. to Stretyinsk was as much as 
twenty-one shillings; but during 1861, in consequence of 
the addition of several steamers, the charge has been reduced 
to 12*. 6rf. The conveyance from Stretyinsk to Irkutsk, the 
commercial centre of Eastern Siberia, a distance of 730 

e Up to the Dzeya, the Amur may be navigated by vessels drawing 
four feet ; thence to Shilkinsk vessels drawing two feet may proceed 
throughout the year, and during high-water (spring) they may get as 
far as Chita. A boat journey down the river occupies fifty days, and 
up the river one hundred days. A steamer may descend in twenty 
days, and ascend in thirty. 


miles, is about 8*. 6 d. a cwt. The total expense for carrying 
one cwt. of goods from Europe to Irkutsk amounts thus to 
26 shillings. 11 If we compare this amount with the expense 
of conveying a cwt. of goods from Nishegorod to Irkutsk, 
we find a gain in favour of the Amur route of sixteen 
shillings, and it would result from this that European 
produce may compete on equal terms with the produce of 
European Russia at a point situated 1,100 miles to the west 
of Irkutsk. 

This expense certainly is heavy, and adds considerably to 
the price of goods, even without taking into view the large 
profits Siberian merchants are accustomed to make. The 
proportionate expense varies greatly with the character of 
the merchandise. The imports of our Australian colonies, 
for instance, have a value of 25 shillings a cwt. ; their 
conveyance to Irkutsk would add above 100 per cent, to this. 
In the case of dress-stuffs ihe addition is however but 3 per 
cent. ; with cigars 5 per cent. ; hardware and tobacco 18 per 
cent. ; coffee 43 per cent. ; sugar 60 per cent., ami so forth 
— a percentage in most instances far below the duties 
charged in the tariffs of European and American States. 
Loaf-sugar at Irkutsk cost formerly about 2s. 6d. a pound ; 
it might now be sold for lOd. at a good profit. Coffee 
cost 3*. 2d. a pound ; imported by way of the Amur, it might 
be sold for 1*. 8d. We are however far from affirming that 
these reductions have actually taken place, or in other words 
that the Siberian community have availed themselves of the 
advantages of the Amur route : up to 1859 they had not. 
Western Europe might thus reasonably expect to compete 
with the manufacturers of Russia in the very heart of 

d An enterprising American, Mr. Collins, has proposed to build a 
railway from Chita to Kiakhta, but such a scheme, though feasible, 
cannot be expected to be remunerative for many years to come. 
Much less could a railway through Siberia to Europe compete with 
the small charges at present in force for land-transport. 



Siberia, if not excluded by high protective duties. The 
Russian manufactures are not only inferior, but on account 
of the high prices of raw material, more expensive also. 
Cotton for instance costs at Moscow £3 12s. to £4 7s. the 
cwt. ; in London, only £3. Indigo, Moscow, £45 ; London, £22, 
and so forth. There are however manufactories in Siberia 
several of which procure their raw material on the spot. In 
1849 there were : — 

Manufactories in 

Leather . 


Tallow and Candles . 





Oil . 




Chemical Products . 


































Total . 
Workmen . 







The government iron works at Petrovsk, on the western 
slope of the Yablonoi Mountains, have not been included in 
this return. About 360 cwt. of bar-iron are produced here 
annually; there is an. iron foundry, and the machinery for 
three of the steamers now navigating the Amur was made 
here. The quality of the iron however is not good, and the 
price is so high, that large quantities are brought from the 
Ural, 2,000 miles distant. Coal abounds in the neighbour- 
hood, but is little used. 

More dangerous rivals might be found in the government 
of Perm, employing 48,436 persons in five hundred and 
twenty-seven manufactories (two hundred and twenty-six in 

e Including TransbaikaL 



leather, one hundred and seventy-seven hardware, etc.). On 
the Amur itself their competition need not however be 

With China and Mongolia a considerable commerce is 
carried on by Russia by way of Kiakhta. According to 
official statements the value of export was as follows : — 


Export* in Manu&cture 
and Raw Produce. 

Exports in Bullion 
and Specie 

Customs Receipts. 




none - 



The trade was, up to 1858, entirely a bartering trade. Of 
the Russian manufactured goods above forty-one per cent, 
are woollen-cloths, twenty-five per cent, cotton-stuffe, four to 
twenty per cent, peltry, ten per cent, leather and skins, two 
per cent, cereals, and seventeen per cent, silver and gold 
ornaments. The export of specie has been permitted since 
1858, and before that time the Russian merchants, in order 
to evade the law, were in the habit of having silver and gold 
cast into rough candlesticks and the like, to barter away as 
manufactured goods. The Chinese imports consist of tea 
exclusively, and it had formerly to pay a duty of nearly 75 
per cent. ! With such oppressive imposts we need not 
wonder that a large contraband trade»was carried on ; and to 
arrive at the true appreciation of the Kiakhta trade, we may 
double the above statements. 8 The customs receipts are paid 
on the tea being cleared from the custom-house, and are not 

* We have not taken into account here the import duties which 
Russia may levy upon foreign merchandise. For the present* the 
trade of the Amur is free. 

« The duties on tea have been considerably reduced by a decree of 
30th March, 1861. At Kiakhta a pound pays Is. ld n 5j<£, or 1|<&, 
according to quality. In European Russia the duties are 2*. and 1*. 3d. 
for southern ports, and 1«. 10c?. and lid. for northern ports. 


therefore in proportion to the actual annual trade. The 
question now arises in how far will this Kiakhta trade be 
influenced by the acquisition of the Amur P We believe 
very little, if at all. The cost of conveying a cwt. of mer- 
chandise from the Chinese frontier across the Mongolian 
Steppes to Kiakhta, varies from nine to twenty shillings, 
according to the greater or lesser abundance of fodder. b The 
conveyance of a cwt. up the Amur alone to Stretyinsk, costs 
twelve shillings and sixpence, to which must be added the 
cost of conveyance from some Chinese port. Stretyinsk 
and Kiakhta occupy about the same position with respect 
to Irkutsk, the centre of Siberian commerce, and are nearly 
equal in point of expense. A third route from China to 
Siberia is available for trade, we mean that to the head 
waters of Sungari, and thence down to the Amur; but 
as a simple glance at a map will show, it offers even 
fewer advantages than that by sea, there being several 
hundred miles of land-transport. 1 

China being now thrown open to foreign commerce, the 
Amur country, when more developed, will no doubt take its 
share. It can export copper, lead and zinc, which in China 
are extensively used, but procurable only in the south- 
western part of the empire ; woollen cloths, the consumption 
of which is on the increase ; glass-ware, a manufacture not 
in a very advanced state in China ; leather, which owing to 
the scarcity of cattle there, every inch of ground almost 

h In 1860 the charges made were 17*. for ordinary merchandise, 
21«. for furs, 26*. for silver bullion. 

1 Russia also carries on a considerable trade on the western frontier 
of China, by way of Kulja and Chuguchak. In 1841 the imports from 
China, the Eirgiz Steppe and Turan amounted to £898,000 including 
1315lbs. of tea. In 1862 the imports were valued at £562,000 including 
666,000 lbs. of tea, valued at £71,000. In 1864 the imports had 
increased to £780,000 including 1,668,096 lbs. of tea; in 1866 they 
were £1,016,692. 


being applied to agricultural purposes, is in much request ; 
and furs. China, in return, will send tea, sugar, porcelain, 
indigo and silk. 

Commercial intercourse has also been opened with Japan, 
which exports cotton, rice, tea, camphor, silks, porcelain, 
lacquered ware ; and would take in return hemp, woollen 
stuffs, linen, lead and zinc procurable from Siberia and the 
country on the Amur. The other countries with which the 
Amur has already carried on some commerce, are the United 
States, England and Germany. The imports thence consist 
of brandy, wine, tobacco, colonial and manufactured goods. 
The exports as yet are very trifling. 


The river is the great highway during summer and winter. 
Up to the Dzeya, the Amur may be navigated by vessels 
drawing four feet ; thence to Shilkinsk, vessels drawing two 
feet may proceed throughout the year, and during high 
water (spring) they may get as far as Chita, though the 
current is strong. A boat journey down the river occupies 
about fifty days, and one up the river one hundred days. A 
steamer descends in twenty days, and ascends in thirty. This 
calculation is of course exclusive of all delays on the road. 
The Dzeya, Sungari, Usuri, and Bureya, are also navigable 
for a considerable distance. 

The following are the steamers at present navigating the 
Amur: — 

''Wooden steamers, built on the Shilka in 1854, 
the machinery having been brought from 
Petrovsk. In 1860, they were undergoing 

(Iron steamers, built in America ; brought to the 
Amur in 1856, and launched in 1857. 


20 H.P. 


20 „ 


60 „ 


35 „ 



C Built at Nikolayevsk, the machinery having been 

Mechanik, 15H.P. ) brought from Petrovsk. Run aground on the 

{ Usuri, 1860. Ascended to Kingka Lake in 1861. 

Iron steamers built by Geoffroy at Hamburg, 
± sent to the Amur in the St. Francisco, and 
launched in 1860. 

( Wooden steamer, having a wheel in the stern, 
1 brought from America in 1859. Property of 
/ Captain Vries. 

{Iron steamer, brought from America in 1860. 
Property of Bordtman and Co. 











All, except the two last, are government property. The 
screw-steamer Nadeshda, eight horse-power, brought from 
England in 1854, foundered in 1860, and has not been 
recovered. The Muravief- Amursky, sixty horse-power, built 
by Cockerell, at Seraing, for the Amur Company, and taken 
out in 1859, struck upon a rock below Ust Strelka, and is 
irretrievably lost. The Company are engaged however in 
putting together a steamer with the iron saved from the 
shipwrecked Orus. Mr. Liihdorf has a steamer building at 
Liverpool, and another lying ready at Hamburg. The 
number of steamers actually navigating the Amur is thus 
eleven, to which three will be added this year or next. The 
chief carrying trade is however effected by means of barges 
of twenty-five tons, large boats and rafts. They are con- 
structed on the Upper Amur, and if not required for a 
return-journey are sold for fire-wood. 

We have already stated the cost of conveyance in force 
for taking goods up the river. Coming down, the charges 
are naturally more moderate ; and, Supposing it to be the 
same as on the Lena, they would amount to seven shillings 
from Shilkinsk to Nikolayevsk. Arrangements for passenger 
traffic have also been made, and in 1859 the fares, including 
board, were as follows : — From Nikolayevsk to Kidzi, 


£3 15s.; to Khabarovka, £11 5*. ; to Blagoveshchensk, 
£18 15*. ; to Ust Strelka, £26 5*. ; and to Shilkinsk, £30. 
Half these fares are charged descending the river. 

With respect to land-transport much remains to be done. 
There is a good post road from Nerchinsk to the Selenga, the 
only one crossing the Tablonoi range practicable at all 
seasons, though difficult in spring owing to the melting of the 
snow. On leaving Chita, 1,880 feet above the level of the 
sea, this road ascends the steep gradient of the Yablonoi 
mountains, and after twenty miles reaches their summit, 
according to Maack 4,010 feet above the sea. It then 
descends to the Shaksha Lake, 3,270 feet, and after crossing 
the low but swampy water-parting between the Khilok and 
TJda, continues down the valley of the latter to Verkhne 
TJdinsk, 1,560 feet above the sea-level, and nearly three 
hundred miles from the culminating point of the road. 
During summer, goods may be sent from this latter place by 
water to Irkutsk ; in winter, the sledge takes the course of 
the Selenga River, and crosses the ice of Lake Baikal ; but 
at other seasons a very circuitous and different road leading 
round the south-western extremity of Lake Baikal must be 
taken. A courier travelling by the direct road, may proceed 
from Chita to Irkutsk, a distance of five hundred and twenty 
miles in sixty-five hours, including delays on the road. 
Mr. Collins, an enterprising American, has proposed to build 
a railway from Chita to Irkutsk, but such a scheme, though 
feasible, can scarcely be expected to be remunerative for 
many years to come. Much less could a railway through 
Siberia to European Russia compete with the small charges 
at present in force for land transport. 

From the head- waters of the Amur we descend at once to 
Mariinsk and the Kidzi Lake, the latter separated from 
Castries Bay by a low range of hills, five miles across. 
Several tracks have been cut here through the forest, prac- 
ticable for carriages, one leading to the head of the Kidzi 


Lake, and the other direct to Sofyevsk ; and there have been 
proposals to connect the latter place with Castries Bay by 
means of a railway. But though the distance between the 
two places scarcely exceeds forty miles, nothing has been 
done to carry out the scheme. Castries Bay is in most 
respects far superior to Nikolayevsk as a port of entry ; but 
for some reason or other the authorities have neglected to 
proceed with the requisite works. There is no warehousing 
accommodation, and the merchandise, when landed, lies on 
the beach, exposed to all kinds of weather. Mr. Esche 
obtained permission to construct a warehouse ; but the site 
pointed out to him by the authorities was too far from the 
beach to be of any service. Nor can vessels safely winter 

We are told that roads connecting the various stations are 
in course of construction ; but we are not able to inform our 
readers how far the work has progressed. A carriage road 
from the Upper Usuri to Victoria Bay is said to be 

The Government. 

The Russian government is evidently anxious to promote 
commerce on the Amur and in Eastern Siberia generally. A 
lighthouse has been built upon Cape Klosterkamp, Castries 
Bay ; an accurate chart of the Gulf of the Amur has been 
published, and the channel leading to Nikolayevsk marked 
with buoys and beacons, thus rendering navigation compara- 
tively safe, and enabling a captain to navigate his vessel even 
without the services of a pilot. In fact, it is almost better to 
do so. Those usually stationed at Castries Bay are Russian 
soldiers or " sailors" totally unacquainted with the manage- 
ment of a vesseL Under any circumstances merchants 
are strongly recommended to send a pilot from Nikolayevsk 
to meet expected vessels. Government requires no payment 


of harbour dues, wharfage, or any other imposts of the kind. 
An TJkase published in May, 1861, declares Nikolayevsk a 
free port for the duration of twenty years, and merchandise 
may be sent up the Amur and imported into the whole of 
Eastern Siberia without paying any customs' duties. 
Foreigners are admitted to trade on payment of the usual 
corporation tax, and enjoy all privileges of Russian subjects. 

These well-meant arrangements could not but fail to 
exercise a most beneficial influence upon commerce, if their 
spirit were acted upon by the local authorities. That such 
liberal regulations exist at all, is due entirely to the enlarged 
mind of Count Muravief Amursky ; and we fear that now, 
when the resignation of that nobleman as Governor-General 
-of Eastern Siberia has been accepted by the emperor, k they 
may be rendered nugatory by local arrangements of officials 
totally incapable of developing the resources of a newly- 
opened country like that of the Amur. One of the chief 
complaints is the refusal of the government to admit 
Consuls, who might act as mediators between the authorities 
and foreign merchants. At the same time, the perpetual 
interference of the police in affairs with which they have no 
concern, and the absence of any fixed laws by which to 
regulate one's conduct, are a constant source of anxiety. 
In spite of the free-trade, no vessel must be loaded or un- 
loaded without the presence of two policemen, and in several 
instances two Cossacks have been placed as a guard before a 
store— and this for a period of several weeks — with the right 
of searching all persons entering or leaving. The Governor, 
Admiral Kazakevich, is evidently not the right man in the 
right place. He is avowedly hostile to foreigners, and his 

k The resignation of Count Muravief, on account of ill health, was 
accepted on the 3rd March, 1861 ; and as a reward for the services he had 
rendered, the emperor appointed him a member of the Council of State, 
and invested him with the Grand Cross of the order of St Vladimir. 


amiable private character does not compensate for his 
ignorance of commercial affairs, an ignorance which places 
him at the mercy of unscrupulous functionaries. The un- 
called-for manner in which he interfered in 1859 in the 
winding-up of the affairs of the ship- wrecked " Orus " and 
" Innocentius," gave just offence to the captains and insu- 
rance companies concerned, and is perhaps one of the reasons 
why the latter now demand a premium of six per cent, upon 
vessels sailing to the Amur. Foreigners have been arrested 
upon a mere verbal order of the director of the police, and in 
two instances were threatened with the knout. Legal 
redress is difficult to obtain, if the complainant be in any 
way obnoxious to the powers that be, or the defendant 
enjoy their friendship. A criminal information was laid in 
consequence of theft and incendiarism on board the wreck 
of the " Innocentius " lying in Castries Bay ; but one of 
the defendants being a personal friend of the governor's, the 
affair was hushed up. 

The best way to make our readers acquainted with the 
manner in which commercial affairs are regulated is to lay 
before them an order issued by the Governor, on the 28th 
June 1859. It refers to the sale of spirits, which up to that 
time had been unrestricted. The merchants received one 
day's notice of its proposed publication ; one vessel with a 
large consignment of brandy had already arrived, and several 
others were expected. The orders, literally translated, were 
as follows: — 

" With a view of preventing the evil consequent upon an 
unlimited sale of spirits and liquors to soldiers, sailors and 
exiles in the service of government, His Excellency, the 
Military Governor, considers it incumbent upon himself to 
issue the following regulations. 

" 1. The Police are ordered to seal up all spirits, such as 
rum, whisky, gin, cognac, brandy, cordials, etc., brought to 



this place. As the sealing up of each separate case or cask 
would require too much time, each merchant is bound to 
provide a separate room or compartment in which he intends 
to keep his stores of spirits. This room is sealed up by the 
police in the presence of the proprietor or his agent, and of 
a deputy elected by the commercial community. These 
persons have to make a return of all spirits, their quality and 
quantity in gallons and bottles, to which they affix their 
signatures, and which is then delivered to His Excellency 
the Governor. 

" 2. The merchant is allowed a quantity of spirits for his 
own consumption and for sale to officers, officials, and other 
persons authorised (!) to become purchasers. If a merchant 
desire a further supply he has to send a written request to 
the chancellerie, he will then receive the authorisation 
required, signed and sealed by His Excellency the Governor. 
The store is then unsealed by the police, in presence of the 
deputies, and after each delivery, the magazine is again 
sealed up. 

" 3. Permission to sell spirits is granted only on producing 
an order from the chancellerie, the staff or commander of 
the Naval Equipage. This order must be kept by the 
merchant, and must be sent to the chancellerie at the same 
time as a request for a further quantity of drinks, and a 
memorandum stating the quantity already sold and con- 

" 4. In case of infringement of the above regulations, the 
spirits belonging to the offender are confiscated for the 
benefit of the town, and he will have to pay a fine to be 
hereafter determined. 

" 5. The above regulations are not to interfere with the 
unlimited sale of wines, porter and ales, which may be sold 
without special permission. 

" Merchants trading in spirits and their clerks are re* 


quired to affix their signatures to these regulations, in 
testimony of their having read and understood them. 
" Nikolayevsk, 16-28 June, 1859. 

" For translation, Alex. Philippaeus, 

" Government translator/' 

The desire of the Governor to prevent drunkenness, one of 
the chief vices of the Russians, is no doubt laudable ; but the { 
bungling manner in which he attempts to do it would be j 
unworthy even the King of the Cannibal Islands trying to \ 
set up a civilised government. The merchants were more ; 
than ever exposed to the arbitrary oppression of the police, \ 
whose favours they had to purchase, as is the case through- 
out the Russian empire. The only person who really 
profited by it, and was indeed most instrumental in getting 
this order issued, was Mr. Philippaeus, government trans* 
lator, shareholder and manager of an hotel and billiard-room. 
In one instance, the privilege of selling spirits was altogether 
withdrawn frpm a merchant on the unsupported statement 
of a soldier, that one of his clerks had sold a mixture of 
cherry-cordial and rum, which was against some regulation. 
Mr. Bodiscol, one of the satelites of the governor, marched 
into the store, and after a good deal of vile language 
threatened to have the clerk flogged. On the merchant's 
sending in a protest to the Governor-General, the prohibition 
was withdrawn. 

Unfortunately the grievances complained of by the mer- 
cantile community are not likely to be redressed for the 
present; for Admiral Xazakevich, who lately visited 
St. Petersburg, was confirmed in his post, appointed Aide-de- 
Camp, which confers the right of reporting to the emperor 
direct, and has returned to the Amur laden with orders for 
his subordinates. 

£E 2 

420 commerce. 

Present Commerce on the Amur. 

The commerce of the Amur is yet in its infancy ; a foreign 
export trade scarcely exists, and the few European and 
American ships which enter at Castries Bay or NikolayevBk, 
merely supply the wants of the Russian garrisons along the 
river, a trade by no means profitable, these garrisons having 
to be maintained at the expense of the government. Even 
before the occupation of the country by Russia, some trifling 
bartering trade was carried on there by Chinese and natives. 
Chinese traders not only descended the Amur itself down to 
the Gilyak village Pul, but also ascended some of its 
tributaries, and in winter they supplied the Samagers and 
other tribes north of the Amur with the merchandise they 
required. At Pul they met natives of Sakhalin through 
whom the products of Japan came to the Amur. This trade 
was of no great importance : the natives exchanged furs and 
skins for the few necessaries and luxuries they required, 
powder and shot, spirits and tobacco. Since the arrival of 
the Russians the trade has assumed somewhat larger propor- 
tions, though far yet from satisfying the expectations of over- 
sanguine persons. 

Transbaikal which had furnished the men, had also to 
furnish them provisions. This trade was and still is in the 
hands of Siberian merchants" and contractors. The foreign 
import trade however is in the hands chiefly of the Amur 
Company, the Russo- American Company and the foreign 
merchants established at Nikolayevsk. m The grievances of 

m Five foreign firms were permanently established at Kikolayevsk 
in 1860, viz^ Fr. Aug. LUhdorf ; Bordtman and Co. of Boston, repre- 
sented by Mr. H. Q. 0. Chase ; H. Pearce of Boston, represented by 
Mr. H. H. Freeman ; O. Esohe of St. Francisco ; Cohen and Newman 
of St Francisco. Several others occasionally carry on trade, via, 
Mr. Burling and Mr. Friesius of St. Francisco, Mr. Pitman of Boston, 
and Mr. Melchars of Honolulu. 


these latter shared in of course by the resident Russian 
merchants we have mentioned above. We will now give a 
short statement of the operations of the Amur Company. 

The Amur Company was established in 1858, with a 
capital of £ 450,000. They are privileged to open com- 
mercial establishments on the Shilka and Amur, to appro- 
priate for their own consumption the coal and wood they 
may find, and to carry on trade with Russians and natives. 
They are also supplied with fifty pud of powder and a hundred 
pud (3,600 lbs.) of lead at cost price from Nerchinsk. The 
company undoubtedly had a fair chance of success, but mis- 
management, and the dishonesty of many of its officials have 
brought it to the verge of ruin. The company has opened 
stores in the chief stations on the Amur, and might carry on 
a most profitable trade there, if its officials thought it worth 
while to study the wants of the colonists. These latter, 
however profit but little from its operations, as may be seen 
by the following extract from a letter addressed by Dr. 
Holtermann, the government physician at Blagovsh'chensk, 
to Professor at Dorpat, and dated 14th July, 1860 : — 

" You will no doubt be anxious to learn where we all 
obtain our daily supplies of food, and I will therefore say a 
few words on this subject. The Amur Trading Company 
was started with a paid up capital of £450,000, for the 
express purpose of furnishing our new settlements with all 
the necessaries and many of the luxuries of life. This was 
so generally understood that all private enterprise was stop- 
ped, no merchants being bold enough to think of entering 
into competition with such a powerful company, since, having 
to get their goods sent by the expensive land conveyance 
all the way from St. Petersburg, they could not dream of 
underselling the prices asked by the company. And what 
is the real state of the case P Why, that after all we find it 
cheaper and more profitable to have our orders executed at 
St. Petersburg, and sent out here by the post, which, though 


the expense is very heavy, being not less than ninepence the 
pound, comes still much cheaper than if we bought them on 
the spot from the company, so exorbitant are the prices they 
ask. This may appear to you incredible, exaggerated, and 
incomprehensible, but I am nevertheless stating nothing but 
the plain naked truth. The company have fulfilled only a 
part of their engagement, and their factories are over-loaded 
with goods of all descriptions ;, but the quality they sell is 
, very indifferent, and by their being in virtual possession of 
: a monopoly, they consider themselves at liberty to screw as 
' much profit out of us as they can, and they are certainly not 
bashful in their extortionate demands. No wonder the 
shares of the company command such a high premium at 
St. Petersburg, though it is highly probable that the share- 
holders, if acquainted with the manner in which their high 
dividends are derived, would many of them prefer a smaller 
return for their money, with the conviction of having gained 
it by fair trading, instead of taking advantage of the wants 
of the settlers, and forcing them to become purchasers of 
very inferior goods at the startling and hitherto unheard-of 

Another letter dated Nerchinsk, 14th October, I860, 
and published in the "Nord," says, that notwithstanding 
the Amur is navigated by steamers, American sugar has 
not penetrated into Dauria. " The. Amur Company boast 
of their success and the merchandize which they cany to 
the Amur, but when spring comes, and any article is asked 
for, it is not to be had. The company dispose of a large 
capital, but do not appear to know as yet the wants of the 
r Dr. Eoltermann is however mistaken, if he supposes the 
shares of the company are at a premium : they are almost 
worthless. The original value of the shares was 250 rubles, 
in 1859 they stood at 175, and last year they were offered 
at 85. The manner in which the company manages its 


affairs may be judged of from the following statement of 
their operations in 1859. In that year the company sent 
three vessels from Europe to the Amur, the " S. Theodosius," 
the " S. Innocentius," and the "Orus." The "S. Theo- 
dosius/' 312 tons, had on board an iron steamer, an iron 
barge, an iron house, and a miscellaneous cargo valued at 
£7,500, and arrived at Nikolayevsk in safety. The " Inno- 
centius " arrived at Castries Bay in October. She had on 
board two iron steamers from the works of Oockerell at 
Seraing, one iron barge, two iron houses, and a cargo valued 
at £7,500. The Company had neglected to send some 
person to Castries Bay to receive this vessel; and the 
captain, unacquainted with the Bay, and apparently not 
provided with a chart or sailing directions, anchored in an 
exposed position. A few days afterwards a violent gale blew 
from the north-east, and the vessel was thrown upon the 
rocky coast. The loss of this vessel must be ascribed solely 
to the improvidence of the officials entrusted with the affairs 
of the company ; but a still more glaring instance of in- 
capacity brought about the loss of a second vessel. The 
" Orus," Captain Priitz, having on board two iron steamers 
and four barges, and a cargo valued at £20,250, arrived a 
few days after the " Innocentius" in Castries Bay, and 
waited there for orders twenty-three days in vain, though the 
season was far advanced. At last Captain Priitz proceeded to 
Nikolayevsk in person. Mr. Bellegobovoi, at that time chief 
manager of the company, shrunk from the responsibility of 
ordering the " Orus " on to Nikolayevsk, but after a consul- 
tation with Admiral Kazakevich the vessel was ordered 
to proceed to Liman, where the government steamer 
" America " was to meet and lighter her. This was done in 
spite of the advice of competent persons to send the vessel to 
winter at Hakodade. Captain Priitz reluctantly obeyed. 
Blocks of ice were floating in the Liman, and on nearing 
the Khazeliv islands the ship sprung a leak. At that 


critical moment the "America" hove in sight, and pulled 
' the " Orus " on a sand-bank. Part of the cargo was trans- 
ferred to the "America" and "Japanese" to betaken to 
Japan, and the remainder, including the hulk, sold for the 
trifling sum of 8,000 rubles. The merchandise alone was 
resold subsequently by the purchasers for 50,000 rubles, and 
in 1860 the Company repurchased the iron taken from the 
wreck for 30,000 rubles, and are now engaged in putting a 
steamer together with it ! 

The steamer brought by the " S. Theodosius" was launched 

in 1860, and baptized "Muravief-Amursky," but on her first 

ascent of the river, she struck on a rock and sunk. The 

, Company is said to have lost £60,000 in the first year, 

£45,000 in the second year, and even a larger sum last year. 

Its operations now are of a very limited kind, and no orders 

) for steamers or merchandise were given in Europe last year. 

The bankruptcy of its Director, Carl Brandt, has occasioned 

still farther losses, and the Company, in all probability, will 

/ soon have to be wound up. 

The Rutto-American Company also maintains a few stores 
on the Amur, and the Airs intended for Kiakhta are now 
sent up that river. The Company however enjoy no special 
privileges, its monopolies being restricted to the American 
territories and the Kurile islands. In 1862 these also will 
cease, and they are not likely to be renewed. 

The number of foreign merchants established at Niko- 
layevsk in 1859 was seven, of whom six were American, and 
one German. There were also two Russian merchants of the 
second guild and two of the third (in 1860 three of the 
second, and four of the third guild). 

The imports brought to the Amur by sea have of late 
attained considerable dimensions ; we must not however 
infer from this the increasing wealth of the country, for the 
goods imported were mainly required for supplying the 
military colonists ; and there are scarcely any exports. In 



1857, seven merchantmen entered the Amur (three from 
St. Francisco, two from Hong-Kong, and two from Boston), 
the united cargoes of which were valued at £75,000. 
Besides these, a screw steamer from Hamburg, and the brig 
"Sitka" arrived for the Russo- American Company. The 
market had apparently become glutted, and in the following 
year, 1858, four vessels only arrived, with cargoes valued at 
£26,197. A rapid increase took place in 1859, and we will 
here enter somewhat into detail. The following table gives 
the details of the vessels entered, I., at Nikolayevsk ; II., at 
Castries Bay. 




Port of Departure. 

Value of Cargo. 

Constantino . . . 


Lewis Perry . . . 




Theodor & Julia . 
S. Theodosius . . 





S. Innocentius . . 


Caroline E.Foote 




13. S. 


New Granada. 







Hong Kong 
S. Francisco 


S. Francisco 








S. Francisoo 













The cargoes of the S. Theodosius, S. Innocentius and 
Orus, for the Amur Company, are estimated at European 
prices, and the value of the five iron river steamers, six 
iron barges, and three iron houses, on board these vessels, is 
not included. Information supplied to us by Mr. Luhdorf, 
enables us to furnish some details. When a vessel arrives, 
the captain or consignee is bound to supply government with 


an invoice stating the prioes at which it is intended to sell 
the goods at Nikolayevsk. The merchants, to avoid subse- 
quent disputes, state higher prices than they actually expect 
to realize, and the estimates given in the above return are 
consequently too high. We have already mentioned the loss 
of the Orus and S. Innocentius, but must observe here that 
part of the cargo of the Orus was transferred to the America 
and Japanese, and taken to Japan, and the portion actually 
entered at Nikolayevsk did not exceed £7,500. A deduction 
ought also to be made from the cargo of the Innocentius, 
which suffered shipwreck in Castries Bay. Besides the 
Orus and Innocentius, one vessel was shipwrecked, and two 
others sustained trifling damages. The American bark, 
Melita, 275 tons, ran on a sandbank near Sakhalin island, 
on her way from Castries Bay to the Amur. The captain 
prematurely ordered an anchor to be thrown out, the waves 
lifted the vessel upon it, and she sprung a leak. Other- 
wise she might have been got off at high water. The 
Theodor and Julia arrived at Nikolayevsk on the 8th 
October in tow of a steamer of the Russo- American Com- 
pany. The consignees detained the ship until the 27th 
October, and before she could leave the river she was frozen 
in, and remained in the ice. The damage caused by the ice 
having been repaired, the vessel left on the 12th July, 1860, 
for Shanghai, with a cargo of ice for the Russo- American 
Company. The Caroline E. Foote froze in at Castries Bay, 
but sustained only trifling damages. The Emma, on leaving 
Nikolayevsk had the misfortune to lose her captain and four 
sailors by the capsizing of the only boat on board. She put 
back, repaired her loss, and reached S.Francisco, leaking 
and with masts cut. The seven other vessels sustained no 
damage. Mr. Luhdorf estimates the actual value of imports 
at £53,000, exclusive, however, of the furs on board 
the Constantine, and the naval stores brought by the 
Tsarina. The merchandize imported consisted of colo- 



nial and manufactured goods. Further details are not 
given. We are made acquainted however with the value 
of the merchandise sent up the Amur from Nikolayevsk, 
and that received at Nikolayevsk from the Upper Amur. 

Imported into NlkoUyerak 

Sent up the Amur from 

from the Uppc 

r Amur. 



Sables . . . . 

2868 pieces 


6418 pieces 


Fox Skin . . . 

53 „ 


1070 „ 


Manufactures . . 









Copper and Iron . 
Crockery Ware . 









Millinery, etc. . . 





Clothing . . . 





Hides . . . . 

25} pieces 




Drugs . . . . 






1020 lbs. 


952 lbs. 


Loaf Sugar . . . 



5,992 „ 


Ground Sugar 



7,094 „ 


Wines . . . . 

40 bottles 


10,908 bottles 


Victuals. . . . 





Cattle .... 

144 head 




Horses .... 

42 „ 




Tobacco .... 

15,234 lbs. 


397 lbs. 


Cigars .... 


794,200 pe. 




An analyzation of this table justifies Mr. Liihdorf in the 
large reduction he has made in the value of imports, as 
stated by government. Tea is estimated at 5*. Hi. and 
5*, lOrf. the pound respectively, being only one penny in the 
pound in favour of that imported by sea. Loaf-sugar is 
ll}rf. the pound, ground-sugar, 1*. 2}rf. the pound ; a bottle 
of wine received by sea is charged 3*., and the wine sent 
down the Amur, 11*. The tobacco sent down the Amur is 
valued at 5{d. 9 and that imported by sea at lid. a pound. 
A horse costs £11 15*., and a bullock, £10 3*. Corn, which 
must have been imported from the Upper Amur in consider- 
able quantities, is not mentioned at all unless included under 


"victuals." Owing to the irregular supply from the 
interior as well as from abroad, prices at Nikolayevak vary 
considerably. In 1860, a pound of fresh meat cost 5d. to 
8rf. a pound of rye-flour, Id., a pound of wheaten flour, 
1*. 3rf., an egg, 2Jrf., a bottle of brandy, is. 6d. During 
winter, fresh meat is scarcely to be procured. The dried 
and salt meat sent down the Amur is hardly fit for human 
food, and coarse rye-bread and oatmeal are almost the only 
other articles to be obtained during that season. 

The export trade during 1859, was on a much more 
restricted scale than the import. Vessels bringing goods are 
obliged to leave in ballast, there being no articles of export. 
They would of course be glad to take on board a cargo of tim- 
ber ; but this the prescience of the Russian Government forbids. 
An export trade, in fact, scarcely exists at all. In 1856 a 
specimen of salt meat was taken by a foreigner and a large 
quantity was ordered for the summer of 1857. The specimen 
however on arriving at Hong Kong was found worthless, 
and the order was countermanded. Another merchant at 
Hong Kong wrote for hams, but the barrels on being opened 
were found to contain nothing but bones. In 1859 the 
value of the articles exported from Nikolayevsk was £2,967, 
and they included 

83,000 pounds of wool £1,500 or 4jrf. a pound. 

,646 „ „ tallow 



4rf. „ 

100 hides 



10*. 6rf. each. 

975 pounds of salt meat 



4}«J. a pound. 

361 „ „ dried meat 



2\d. „ 

740 sables 



36*. each. 

398 squirrel-skins 



5Jrf. „ 

All these articles must shortly become staples of export, 
in addition to the productions of the mineral kingdom, and 
the forests. 


In I860, there was, if anything, a falling off in the exports, 
but it is satisfactory to be able to state, that up to the 14th 
of October not a single disaster had happened at sea. The 
following vessels arrived at Nikolayevsk :— 

The Hamburg brig " Greta," from Hong Kong. 

„ bark " S. Francisco," from Hamburg. 
Hawai brig " Hero," from Honolulu. 
American schooner " Alert," from S. Francisco. 
„ brig "Orbit," „ „ 
„ bark " Bering," from Boston. 
„ „ "Starking," „ 

The Hamburg brig " Steinwarder," from Hamburg, was 
lightered in Castries Bay, and the Hamburg schooners 
" Franz " and " Louise " were expected. 




The following works by F. G. Mliller have laid the foundation for the 
early history of the Amur, and his successors have frequently 
availed themselves of his researches, often without acknowledg- 

V Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, von. F. G. MUller. 
L 1732. Albazin and the disputes about it. 
H. 1736. History of the Amur under the Dominion of 
Busching's Magazin fiir Historie und Geographie. 

II. 1768. Information about the Amur, by M tiller, written 
* Monthly News, Instructive and Entertaining. 

1757. On the regions of the Amur, by Miiller. 
Additional information on several points is derived from 

Witsen, Noord en Oost Tartarijen. 2 vols. Amsterdam 1692. 
v Du Halde, Description de la Chine, vol. iv. The Hague, 

yEb. Fischer, Sibirische Geschichte. 2 vols. St Petersburg. 
v St. Petersburgen Zeitschrift von Oldecop, 1822. 
Vol. iv. Khaborof s Adventures, 
Vol. v. Albazin. 
The following papers are based more or less upon the labours of 

Scherer, Nordische Nebenstunden. 

I. 1776, Description of the Amur. 

* Denotes that we were not able to procure the works named. 


* Monthly Papers (Ephemiestyachnia Sochinenya). 

1756. History of the Amor under the Dominion of 

1755. Paper on the frontier of, 1689. 

* New Monthly Papers. 

1795. Description of the Amur. 

* The Siberian Messenger (Viestnik) by Grigory Spasky. 

1824. Historical and Statistical information on the 

* The Son of the Fatherland (Sin Otechestva). 

1848. Conquest of the Amur in the 17th Century, by 

* Journal for the Cadets of the Imperial Military Schools, 

27. Khabarof s adventures. 
29. Albazin destroyed by the Chinese. 
38. Nerchinsk Expedition to the Amur. 
77. The Russians on the Amur in the 17th century, 
from Documents in the Archives of Irkutsk and 
The Documents which Muller consulted have lately been 

Historical Documents (Akti Istoricheskskie) collected and 
published by the Archaeological Commission of the Russian 
Academy, vol. iv. 1842. 
Supplements, vol iii., 1848. \ 

The Muscovite. 

1843. Historical Documents on the Amur (Milovanof). 

* The Son of the Fatherland. 

1840. Documents on Khabarof's Expedition, also 
published by the Archaeological Commission. 

* The Moscow Telegraph. Edited by Polevoi. 

1833. Documents from the Yakutsk Archives. 

* The Russian Library. Edited by Polevoi. Moscow, 1833. 

Documents from the Albazin Archives. 
Viestnik of the Russian Geographical Society, 1858. 
Two Documents. Edited by Spassky. 
The following works also contain frequent references to the Amur. 
Broughton; a Voyage of Discovery. London, 1795. 



Krusenstern; Voyage round the World. London, 1802 — 6, 

Lisiansky; Voyage round the World. London, 1818. 
vTimkovsky, Travels. London 1827. 
£. Tsbrant Ides, Driejaarige Reize naar China. Amsterdam, 

J. F. G. de la Perouse ; A Voyage round the World. 

London, 1798. 
Golovin, Japan and the Japanese. London, 1852. 
Lange's Travels to Peking, 1715, 1719, 1727 and 1736. 
in the "Jetziger Staat von Russland II.," and "Pallas 
Neue Nordische BeitrKge II." 
J. Bell of Autermony. Travels to divers parts of Asia. 

Glasgow, 1763. 
A. Brand. Neue Besohreibung seiner Chineaischen Reise. 

Amsterdam, 1699, 
J. H. Plath. Die Volker der Mandschurei. Gbttingen, 

Siebold, Nippon, Archiv. zur Beschreibung von Japan. 

Leyden, 1832, etc. 
Siebold, Geschichte der Entdeckungen im Gebiete von 

Japan. Leyden, 1853. 
Siebold, Elucidations to the discoveries of M. G. Vries. 

Amsterdam, 1858. 
Stuckenberg's Hydrographie des Russischen Reiches, vol. iv., 
contains a good deal of historical information. 
Recent Russian travellers have contributed by their discoveries 
to elucidate the early history of the Amur, and Middendorf espe- 
cially, gives detailed information on the Russo-Chinese frontier. 
Middendorf, Siberische Ruise, vol. iv. 
Bulitschef, Reise in Ost Siberien, vol i. Leipzig, 1859. 
Maack describes the ruin of Albazin and of an ancient fort near 
the Usuri; Romanof those of Eodogorsky; Collins, Albazin* and 
ruins near the Sungari, etc. 

The information about the Roman-Catholic Missions is. derived 
from the '* Annales de la Propagation de la Foi." We are not quite 
certain about the* position of some of the stations; our enquiries at 
Paris were without result. 

The recent history of the Amur has been derived from a great 
variety of sources. The Russian scientific travellers are generally 

F F 


averse to giving political information, but personal intercourse with 
Russian officers and others personally acquainted with the Amur 
regions, enabled us to test the information of Russian, German, 
French and English newspapers, and to fill up many gaps. The 
Revue des deux Mondes, vols. 16 and 18, contains the account of 
" Une Campagne dans TOcean Pacifique, par E. du Hailly." The 
works of Whittingham and Tronson contain information about the 
movements of the Allied squadron. 


We propose, in this chapter, to give a historical sketch of recent 
geographical explorations on the Amur, in order to enable the 
reader to judge in some degree of the knowledge we possess at 
present with regard to these regions. This chapter at the same 
time will enable us to name the authorities whom we have con- 
sulted in the compilation of the geographical portion of this 

We may fitly date recent explorations from the journey of 
Middendorf* across the tributaries of the Amur in 1844, a journey 
undertaken upon his own responsibility, and which has undoubtedly 
aided in again drawing the attention of Russian statesmen to these 
regions. In our geographical part we shall speak at length of this 
journey. A few years subsequently the same region was traversed 
by the astronomer L. A. Schwarz, a member of the Expedition 
charged to explore the Transbaikal province between the years 
1849 and 1852. Schwarz determined a number of astronomical 
positions b from which we are enabled to lay down Middendorf's 
route with a greater degree of accuracy. Vaganofs unfortunate 
expedition in 1848 we have already mentioned. But neither the 
labours of Schwarz nor those of Middendorf extended to the Amur 
itself, and it was reserved for Muravief 8 first voyage in 1854, to 
supply us with the first account of that river. Most of the gentle- 
men attached to this expedition have published their observations. 6 

* A Tb. Middendorf, Sibirische Retse, vol. iv. Preliminary Reports in the 
" Bulletin de rAcademie de St. Petersbourg, Classe Phys. et Mathem." vol*, ii. 
to vL Bar and Helmersen, Beitr. z. Eenotn. d. Buss. Seiches, 1855. 

b Zeitflchrift fur Brdfcnnde, 1856. 

c Permikin, Description of the Amur, in Memoirs of the Siberian branch d 


We may at once mention here Admiral Putiatin's journey up the 
Amur in 1855, during which Lieutenant Peshchurof made astrono- 
mical observations. d In the same year Shenurin, Raebsky and 
Chikachef travelled by land from Nikolayevsk to Udsk or Ayan, 
and thence to Yakutsk.* 

In 1857, Leopold von Schrenck and Carl Maximo wicz arrived at 
the mouth of the river, the former deputed by the Imperial Academy, 
the latter by the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg. Schrenck, 
on reaching Nikolayevsk, 18th August, 1854, immediately set about 
building a small house, and employed his leisure hours in making 
botanical excursions into the neighbouring forests. On the approach 
of winter he made preparations for a journey to Sakhalin, and on 
the 8th February, 1855, he started with three dog-sledges, each 
drawn by twelve dogs. Following the coasts of the river and 
Liman he came to Cape Lazaref, and on the 13th crossed the 
narrow strait to Sakhalin Island. On the 15th February he arrived 
at the Gilyak village Tyk, where his reception was inhospitable, if 
not hostile. Snow-storms detained him here for three days, and only 
by threats and heavy payments could he procure shelter and food for 
the dogs. We may however mention in extenuation of the conduct of 
the Gilyaks, that their fishing season had yielded a very poor return; 
provisions were short, and some of them had even gone inland to 
the Tymy river, where the fisheries had been more productive. 
Without provisions a continuation of the journey was not to be 
thought of, and Schrenck resolved to postpone the exploration of the 
island to a more favourable period. He returned to Cape Lazaref, 
and crossed the country between the sea and the Amur by following 
the Tymy river in the direction of Pul. This route generally offers 
no difficulty, but owing to the heavy snow-storms the tracks of 

the Russian Geogr. Society, ii.; Anosof, Geological Sketch of the Amur, 
id. vol. L; Sverbcef, Account of the Governor-General's voyage down the 
Amur, id. vol. hi.; Permikin and Anosof, Description of the Rivet Amur; 
Viestuik, Rnss. Gcogr. Society, 1855. Translations in extract in the Journal 
of the R. Geogr. Society, voLxxviii. ; and Permikin's account in Petermann's 
Mittheilungen, 1857, and Malte-Bran's Nouv. Annales des Voyages, 1859. 
Also in the " Extraits des publications de la Societe" Imperiale Geographique 
deRussie en 1856 et 1857." 

d Petermann's Mitth. 1856 and 1857. . Morskoi Svornik, 1857. 

e Morskoi Svornik, 1857; Memoirs of the Siberian Branch of the Rugs. 
Geogr. Soe., vol. iii. 



the native sledges had been obliterated, and it took Schrenck four 
days to reach Pul, whence he ascended the Amur to Mariinsk. 
After a short stay the journey up the river was continued. On the 
16th he came to the mouth of the Gorin, ascended that river to 
Ngagha, the first village of the Kile, and on the 25th had returned 
to its mouth. The journey down the Amur proved rather trouble- 
some on account of thaws and occasional rains, and advantage was 
taken of the night for travelling. But having once passed Mariinsk 
the signs of approaching spring were wanting altogether, and at 
Nikolayevsk, on the 9th April, winter still reigned supreme, the 
temperature, even at noon, scarcely rose above freezing-point, and 
deep snow still lay in the forests. During Schrenck's absence 
meteorological observations were continued by Mr. Polivanof, the 
draughtsman, and the apothecary, Mr. Lentz, promised to continue 
them during the summer. On the 25th May, 1855, the earliest 
date at which the river became partially free of ice, Schrenck 
ascended with two Gilyak boats to Mariinsk, where he arrived on 
the 4th June. After a rest of two days he ascended the Amur, 
but met General Muravief at Pulyesa, and was ordered by him 
to repair to Castries Bay, where it was intended to make a 
settlement. This mission fulfilled, Schrenck obtained the desired 
authorization to ascend the Amur, and on the 6th July he departed 
in company with Maximowicz. On the 11th of August, our travel- 
lers arrived at the mouth of the Usuri, where the Mancbu official 
received them in a very friendly manner, even offering guides and 
provisions, of course on payment. Having ascended the Usuri to 
the mouth of the Nor (24th August), want of cotton-stuffs to pay 
the guides, and the sickness of some of the rowers made a return 
imperative, and on the 1st September, our travellers found them- 
selves once more at the mouth of the UsurL On the 16th Sept. 
they came to Mariinsk, where Maximowicz remained ; Schrenck pro- 
ceeded to Nikolayevsk, and prepared for a winter-journey to Sakha- 
lin. He was absent on that journey from the 11th February, 1856, 
to the 24th March. We have published in another part of this 
volume a full account of this journey. On the 21st May the river 
became partly free of ice, and Schrenck started on his return to 
Europe, which he made by way of the Amur, ascending that river 
up to Ust Strelka. As the news of the peace of Paris had just 
arrived, a detachment of Cossacks who were ordered to go back to 
their ordinary stations were placed at Schrenck's disposal. His 


party numbered forty men in all, with a canoe, three barges carry- 
ing his own collection, and a boat carrying that made by Mr. 
Maximowicz. Marimsk was left on the 27th June; the wind 
proved favourable, and exactly one month after, the flotilla arrived 
at the Russian station opposite the Sungari. It was however on 
entering the narrows of the Bureya that the real hardships began. 
In consequence of heavy Mis of rain, the waters of the Amur had 
risen considerably, and the current was more rapid even than usual. 
Towing the boats was out of the question, the precipitous banks 
affording no space to walk along the shore. Progress had then to 
be made by the aid of oars alone, in a broiling sun, and this severe 
labour soon exhausted many of the people, some of whom had 
moreover suffered from scurvy when staying at the mouth of the 
river. At the Khingansk post (Pashkof) fresh provisions were 
procured, and after reposing a day and a half they started afresh. 
At Khormoldin (21st August) a Chinese official, deputed by the 
governor of Aigun, met the expedition and accompanied it to Aigun 
(23rd August), admission to which was however refused. The 
Cossack station at Eomarsk was passed on the 3rd September, and on 
the 6th October Schrenck arrived at Ust Strelka. He ascended the 
Argun, in preference to the more rapid Shilka, until the 21st Oct, 
when the formation of ice put a stop to his further progress at the 
village Mulachta. The remainder of the journey was made by 

Carl Joh. Maximowicz had been ordered in 1853 to accompany 
the Diana as botanist on a voyage round the world. She reached 
Castries Bay on the 23rd July, and owing to the outbreak of war, 
Maximowicz landed here, and subsequently continued his journey to 
Nikolayevak in company with L. von Schrenck. Having explored 
the summer flora in the vicinity of that post, he proceeded on the 
18th September to Mariinsk, arrived there on the 3rd October, and 
between the 21st October and 4th November made an excursion to 

r Beports on Schrenck's journeys have been published in the Bulletin de 
r Acad, de St Petersburg, Classe Physico-Math6m., vols. xii. to xr. ; the 
Melanges Physiques et Chhniques, ii.; Petermann'f Mitth., 1856; the Bulletin 
de la Soc. des Naturalistes de Moscow, 1859 (Catalogue of Insects, by 
Mochulsky). Of his larger work, Beisen u. Forschungen im Amurlande, 
part i., containing the Mammals, has been published in 1859, and part ii, 
containing the birds, in 1860; 4to., 570 pp., 16 plates and a map by Lieut. 


Castries Bay to explore the marine flora. On the breaking up of 
the ice, 10th May, 1855, Maximowicz in two boats ascended the 
Amur, but here, like Schrenck, met the Governor of Eastern Siberia, 
and was ordered back to Mariinsk. The Journey to the Usuri, 
July to September, 1855, Maximowicz and Schrenck undertook 
together. Whilst waiting for rowers to take him up the river, in 
the spring of 1856, Maximowicz made an excursion to Kidzi lake 
and the river Yai. * At length, on the 20th July, he left Mariinsk, 
and hastening his journey arrived at Ust Strelka on the 20th Oct. 
On the 29th March, 1857, he was again at St. Petersburg. 

Maximowicz has incorporated into his work on the Flora of the 
Amur » the labours of other travellers, including those of Maack, 
Schrenck; of Karl von Ditmar, the explorer of Kamchatka, who 
early in 1856 ascended the Amur; of Dr. Weyrich of the Vostok, 
who in 1853 and 1854 gathered a few plants on the west coast of 
Sakhalin. The works of Maximowicz and Schrenck are most 
extensively used by us in our description of the Fauna and Flora of 
the Amur. 

The next expedition to be mentioned is that sent in 1 855 to the 
Amur, under the auspices of the Siberian branch of the Russian 
Geographical Society. Mr. Solovief presented half a pud of gold 
for that purpose, and also undertook, the publication of the account. 
Richard Maack, favourably known by his exploration of the Vilui, 
was put at the head of it, and was accompanied by G. Gerstfeldt 
and Canditat Kochetof as naturalists, Fuhrmann, the companion of 
Middendorf, to prepare specimens of natural history, and Lieut. 
Sondhagen of the Topographical Corps. On the 18th April the 
expedition left Irkutsk, and on the 16th May, at Chita, they were 
ordered to join the third of the military expeditions sent that year 
down the river. Maack started a few days before, and was thus 
enabled to examine more at leisure the ruins of Albazin; but the 
remainder of the distance, as far as the lower end of the Bureya 
Mountains, which was made in the company of his military friends, 
was traversed very rapidly. On the 20th August he arrived at 
Mariinsk, and after a stay of six days entered upon his return 
voyage, escorted by twenty Cossacks. Kochetof and Sondhagen 

* Maximowicz, Primitive Flora Amurensis. Versuch einer Flora, des Amur 
Landes. St. Petersburg, 1859, 4to., 504 pp., 10 plates and a map, 17 shillings. 
Preliminary Accounts in Bulletin do I'Academie, vol. xv. Erman's Archir. 
1858, and Melanpes biologiques, ii. 


remained behind at Mariinsk. On the 12th October. Maaek arrived 
at Aigun, and solicited permission to proceed through Manchuria to 
Tsurukhaitu on the Argon. This was refused, and he continued 
his voyage on barges, but was stopped by the ice on the 1 5th Oct, 
A Cossack was despatched to Aigun to ask for assistance, and 
Maack was glad when he was invited to return to the town, where 
he was lodged within the enclosure containing the government 
buildings. His request to proceed through Manchuria was for- 
warded to Peking, but negatived, and it was proposed to him that he 
should remain at Aigun during the winter, and return to Mariinsk 
in the ensuing spring. The governor however placed no obstacles in 
the way of his departure for Transbaikal, and even supplied him 
with seventeen horses and provisions. On the 24th November 
Maack left the town, and after surmounting considerable diffi- 
culties on the road, arrived at Ust Strelka on the 1st January, 1857. 
The account of this expedition was published in 1859, and is 
accompanied by a route-map of the Amur from the surveys of 
Lieut. Sondhagen, a geological map, plans of Albazin and Aigun, 
and numerous lithographs, beautifully executed. In addition to a 
diary of the progress of the expedition, we find in it a geological 
report, a description of animals and plants, and Tunguzian vocabu- 
aries. h 

In the same year that Maack was staying on the Amur, the 
labours of the East Siberian Expedition * were extended to it. The 
first proposition to send an expedition to Eastern Siberia was 
made to the Bussian Geographical Society in 1850, when two gentle- 
men, Mr. P. W. Golubkof and E. K. Hutten-Czapsky, presented for 
that object £4,680 and £4,220 respectively. As Transbaikal was 
at that time being explored by the local authorities, it was resolved 

h Richard Maack's Expedition to the Amor, St. Petersburg, 1859, 4to., 
610 pp., 35 plates, 4 maps, £6. Ad excellent resume of this work has been 
published by C. de Sabir, in Malte Bran's Annates des Voyages, 1861, vol i. 
See also a Paper on the Manegres (Manyargs), by the same author, Bulletin 
of the French Geogr. Society, January, 1861.— (C. de Sabir has also published, 
for private distribution, a work entitled Le Fleuve Amour, 150 pp. illustrated 
and map. Only 150 copies have been printed, and we have not hitherto seen 
a copy.) Also Gerstfeldt, Ueber einige neue Arten von Platoden, Ameliden 
Myriapoden u. Crustaceen Sibiriens, in Mem. pres. & l'Acad. Imp. par divers 
Savants, viii., St. Petersburg, 1859. The same, on the natives of the Amur 
Viestnik, 1857, Erman's Archiv. xvii., xviii; On the Future Prospects of the 
Amur, Petermann's Mitth., 1 860. 

1 Compte-Rendu of the Russ. Geogr. Soc, 1857-60, Zeitschr. fur Erdk., 
1857, ii. iii. Viestnik, 1857. 


to confine this expedition to Kamchatka, the Kuriles and Russian 
America. The original plan was however abrogated, and it was 
resolved to explore the territories between Irkutsk, the Lena, Witim 
and part of Transbaikal. L. A. Schwarz, the astronomer, was placed 
at the head of the expedition, and attached to him were Lieutenants 
Roshkof, SmirSgin and Usultzof, Mr. A. Radde, of Danzig, as 
naturalist, and Mr. £. E. Meyer as artist. On their arrival at 
Irkutsk, in spring, 1855, General Muravief, on the recommendation 
of Schwarz, divided the expedition into three sections. The first 
was to explore the Lower and Middle Amur; the second Transbaikal 
and the Vitim; and the third Southern Transbaikal and the 
Upper Amur. 

At the same time he still further increased the staff of the expedi- 
tion by adding to it Lieutenant Orlof, of the Topographical Corps. 
In accordance with its programme, the labours of the expedition 
were confined chiefly to Transbaikal and the government of Irkutsk. 
We only notice here those journeys which have reference to the 

Lieutenant Roshkof, in 1855, descended it. As far as the Bureya 
mountains, he travelled in company with the government expedition, 
and thence to Mariinsk in that of Mr. Maaek. He wintered that 
year at Nikolayevsk. In 1856, he was engaged taking astronomi- 
cal observations along the Amur below the mouth of the Usuri, and 
in March, 1857, visited Sakhalin, and in the summer again returned 
to Transbaikal by way of the Amur. k The artist Meyer descended 
the Amur in 1855, a month later than Roshkof, and was then 
recalled. Lieutenant Orlof, in 1856, traversed the territories of the 
Oronchons from Gorbitza to the Aldan and Olekma. 1 Lieutenant 
Usultzof, in 1856, travelled along the southern slope of the Sta- 
novoi mountains to the Gilui and Dzeya, which latter he descended 
on a raft. m In 1858, he traversed the country between the Dzeya 
and Silimji. Radde, the naturalist in 1857, examined the banks of 
the Middle Amur, from the mouth of the Bureya to that of the 
Usuri. He wintered in the Bureya mountains, and in spring and 
summer, 1858, explored the neighbourhood of the mountains, and 

k Astronomical positions, see Compte- Rendu, of the Boss. Geogr. Soc., 

'The Oronchons, Viestnik, Ross. Geogr. Soc. 1858; Zeitsch. f. Erdknnde, 

■ Viestnik, 1858. Erman's Archiv. vol.xviii. Journal Royal Geogr. Soc. 
vol. xxviii. Zeitsch. f. Erdk. 1858, v. 


returned at the close of the season to Transbaikal and Irkutsk, with 
a rich collection of objects of natural history." 

Of other government expeditions we may mention the survey of 
the country between Castries Bay and the Amur by Captain 
Romanof, with a view to the construction of a railway or canal 
(1858).° Mr. Maximowicz returned to the Amur in 1859, but 
failed in ascending the Sungari, owing to the hostile attitude 
assumed by the Chinese population near Sansin. In August he 
ascended the Usuri as far as the Ima, in company with Mr. Arthur 
Nordmann, son of the Professor at St. Petersburg. Maximowicz had 
intended to proceed to Japan by way of Nikolayevsk, but the late- 
ness of the season frustrated this plan, and, instead, he ascended 
the Amur and Usuri during the winter, and in the spring crossed 
the coast-range to Olga Bay, whence he continued to d'Anville 

In 1859, the geologist, F. Schmidt, despatched by the Russian 
Geographical Society, arrived at Nerchinsk. On the 18th of August 
he passed Ust Strelka, and on the 4th October, arrived at Ehabarovka ; 
he then returned to Blagovesh'chensk, and during the winter made 
meteorological observations, in conjunction with Dr. Holtermann. 
He had also occasion to meet there Anosof and Basin, two mining 
engineers, and Maack, who were able to supply him with valuable 
information. In the spring of last year, Dr. Schmidt, with his 
companions Dr. Glehn and Brylkin, proceeded to Sakhalin.P D. G. 
Meynier and Louis von Eichthal started for the Amur in the 
spring of this year, the expenses of their journey being borne by 
the Association for the Acclimatisation of Plants and Animals, 
at Paris. 

The first exploration of the Usuri took place in 1858, as a pre- 
liminary step to the occupation of that river. In that year, 
Lieutenant Veniukof ascended the Usuri nearly to its source, and 
thence crossed the coast range, coming upon the channel of Tartary, 
a short distance north of Port Vladimir. A detailed account of this 

n Radde, Viestnik, 1858 and 1859; Bulletin Physico-Mathematiqne, 1859; 
Journal Royal Geogr. Soc. xxriii. ; Zeitsch. f. Erdk. 1859, it; Lecture* held 
before the Russian Academy, in Petermann's Mittheilungen, I860, translated 
from the *' Russkoe Slovo." A large work by Mr. Radde is in preparation. 

o Topographical sketch of the country between Castries Bay and the Amur, 
Viestnik, 1859; Erman's Archiv. xix. 

p Compte-Rendu of the Ross. Geogr. Society, 1860. 


journey has been given before. A more exact survey of the whole 
region extending between the Usuri and the sea, And south to the 
frontiers of Korea, was made in 1859, in pursuance of Article 9, of 
the treaty of Tientsin (see ante p. 1 42). Colonel Budogorsky directed 
this surveying expedition, which worked in three sections, each com- 
posed of an officer and nine assistants. A map shewing the results of 
these surveys has been published by the Russian Topographical Office. 
Usultsof determined seven astronomical positions (east of the Usuri ?) 
The Cossack officer, Dariyitarof explored the Suifun, and its tri- 
butary the Huptu ; and Captain Gamof, of the Topographical Corps, 
specially detached on that service from St. Petersburg, furnished 
nine astronomical positions along the Amur, and twenty along the 
Usuri and its tributaries up to Lake Kingka. He also ascertained 
barometrically the altitude of several mountains, and made a valuable 
collection of plants and animals. 

In the same year, R. Maack returned to the Amur, and having 
been joined by Brylkin, descended the Amur to the mouth of 
the Usuri, where he arrived in the beginning of June. Maack 
ascended the Usuri and Sungachan, and partly explored the Kingka 
lake. On the 25th September, he was again at Khabarovka, near 
the mouth of the Usuri, embarked on the steamer Kazakevich, and 
on 6th October, arrived at Blagovesh'chensk. 

Besides these official travellers, the Amur has been visited by 
a number of gentlemen led thither by business. Of these the first 
rank is due to Perry McDonough Collins a citizen of the United 
States belonging to California, who, appreciating the importance of 
the Amur regions as a trading mart, induced his government to 
appoint him commercial agent; rightly judging that in this official 
capacity greater facilities would be afforded him for gaining a 
knowledge of the country. On the 7th January, 1 857, he arrived 
at Irkutsk, having traversed the whole of Russia and Siberia. 
During the winter he made excursions to Kiakhta and some of the 
Daurian mines, conceived a project of building a railway to connect 
the Amur with Kiakhta and Irkutsk, and on the breaking up of the 
ice, descended the Amur. From Chita to Nikolayevsk he spent 
fifty-two days on the way, and in August left the Amur to return to 
S. Francisco.* 

« A voyage down the Amoor, New York, 1859. Explorations of Amoor 
River, 35 Congr. I Session, Ex. Doc. No. 98. 




Mr. Pargachevsky, a Russian merchant, Jbas given us an account 
of his journey up the Amur in the winter 1856-7. Leaving 
Nikolayevsk on the 16th November, he arrived on the 25th of 
February, at Ust Strelka, thus ^passing ninety- eight days on the 
journey, of which seventy-one were of actual travel. The journey, 
as far as the Sungari, had been performed with dog-sledges, and the 
remainder with horses. 

In 1857, Mr. Otto Esche and Henry Jacoby, two German mer- 
chants established at S. Francisco, arrived at Nikolayevsk, where 
Mr. Jacoby wintered, and in August ascended the Amur on his 
return to Europe." We understand that one of the clerks of 
Mr. Esche is about publishing a Chronique Scandaleuse of Niko- 
layevsk, in which the administration of the Russian authorities at that 
place will be rather roughly handled. Another German merchant, 
Fr. A. Liihdorf, author of a work on Japan, at present established at 
Nikolayevsk, has published an account of commercial activity there.* 
In Russia, several statements were published which represented the 
affairs on the Amur as being in the most flourishing condition, the 
foreign commerce of great importance, and the importation of 
foreign merchandise such as to influence considerably the prices, not 
only in Transbaikal, but even at the fair of Irbit. n Mr. Dmitri 
Savalakhin, in a letter addressed to the Morskoi Svornik, and dated 
Chita, 2nd July, 1858, was the first to protest against these exagge- 
rated, and in many instances, mendacious accounts. T Finally, we 
would refer to the China Telegraph, a paper published in London, 
and supplied with information from Russia, and occasionally from 
correspondents on the Amur, with the latest news regarding 
Russian enterprise in Eastern Asia. 

We have already mentioned in our last chapter, the expeditions 
undertaken for exploring the sea-coast, but will here recapitulate. 
First as to the Russians. An " Amur expedition" was organised in 
1848, when Captain Nevilskoi, of the Baikal, left Kronstadt in order 

r Viestnik, 1857; see also Le Tour dn Monde, 1860, No. 7, whore there is 
however a great confusion of dates. The illustrations are not authentic. 

• Zcitsch f. Erdk. 1858, iv. ; Erman's Archiv. vol. xvii. 
1 Petermann's Mittheilungen, 1858. 

D See for instance, Nazimof, On the Navigation of the Amur in 1857, 
Morskoi Svornik and Erman's Archiv. vol. xvii. 

* The truth about the Amur, Morskoi Svornik, and Erman's Archiv. vol. xviii. 
with remarks by Mr. Henry Jacoby. 


to explore the mouth of the Amur. Several other ships were 
placed under his command, and the surveys were carried on in 
1849, 1850, and 1851. Captain Boshnak discovered Port Imperial 
in 1852. 

The Vostok, Captain Rimsky-Korsakof, continued the surveys in 
1853-4. The Pallas, Admiral Putiatin and Captain Unkovsky, 
made a survey of the coast of Korea in 1854. The outbreak of the 
war however put a stop to Russian explorations and surveys, which 
were resumed in 1857. In that year Putiatin, in the America, dis- 
covered Port Vladimir. In 1859, Port Nakhodka and Voyevod 
island were discovered. Detailed accounts of these surveys are to 
be found in the Russian Naval Magazine (Morskoi Svornok) w 

Of equal importance with the labours of the Russians in these 
quarters are those of the English, called forth chiefly by the late 
war. In 1855, surveys were made of the coast of Manchuria, from 
the frontiers of Korea to about 43° north latitude; and a number 
of bays, including that of Victoria and Port Sir Michael Seymour, 
were discovered. The results obtained are to be found in the 
Admiralty charts, from the surveys of H. Hill, S. W. K. Freeman, 
May, Wilder, Johnson, and Jones, and the " Chinese Pilot," compiled 
by John W. King, Master, R.N,, and published in 1861. Valuable 
descriptions of the countries visited by the allied squadrons, are to 
be found in the works of Whittingham and Tronson. x In 1859, 
the Acta3on and Dove were surveying on the coasts of Manchuria 
and Sakhalin. Mr. Arthur Tilley visited Nikolayevsk on board the 
corvette "Rinda,"^ 

The French, under Admiral Guerin, of the Sibylle, made some 
trifling observations in Victoria Bay.* The United States' North 
Pacific exploring expedition approached the Amur from the north.* 

We may also mention here an account of the Liman of the 

"For instance, Rimsky Korsakof, cruize of the Vostok, 1853-4; Morskoi 
Svornik, 1858; Putiatin, Cruise of the America in 1857. (See also Ennan's 
Archiv. vol. xvii.) Chart of the Channel of Tartary, id. 1858. 

* Bernard Whittingham, Notes on the late expedition against the Russian 
settlements in Eastern Siberia. London, 1856. J. M. Tronson, Personal 
Narrative of a Voyage, etc., in H.M.8. Barracouta. London, 1859. 

7 The Amoor,. Japan and the Pacific, London, 1861. 

* Renseignements Hydrographiques, etc., per M. Le Gras, Capitaine de 
Fregate. 2nd Edition, 1860. Furet's "Lettres sur les lies .Japonais,"etc Fans, 

* Habersham, the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, Philadelphia, 1857. 


Amur, published by the Hamburg Captain George Krell (China 
Telegraph, vol. i.p. 151). Another account has been communicated 
to us by Captain Priltz, and we have added it to this work as an 

In conclusion, we will mention Mr. Thomas Witlam Atkinson's 
beautiful works, " Western and Oriental Siberia•/ , and " Travels on 
the Upper and Lower Amoor," b containing a great deal of information, 
and conveying a vivid idea of regions hitherto scarcely trodden by 
the foot of a European. From the route-map appended to the first 
of these works, it appears that the furthest point in the East reached 
by Mr. Atkinson was the north-eastern extremity of Baikal Lake, 
at a distance of upwards of four hundred miles from the Amur. 
The rather ambiguous wording of the title of the second of these 
works has led most reviewers to consider the latter part of the 
volume to be based upon personal experience. Mr. Atkinson how- 
ever never was on the Amur, and his descriptions have been derived 
from Maack's Travels on the Amur, published at St. Petersburg 
in 1859. c 

Remarks on the Navigation op the Channel of Tatart, Castries 
Bat and the Gulf of the Amur. 

By Captain L. Prutz, of the Arkhangel brig Orus. 

I left London on the 30th March, 1859, with a cargo bound for 
Nikolayevsk on the Amur, and lost my ship there in the ice. 
On the 28th July, 1860, 1 returned to Europe in a Hamburg ship, 
by way of St. Francisco. In what follows, I have set down my 
remarks on the navigation of the above waters, and on the resources 
available in case of necessity. 

b The complete titles of Mr. Atkinson's works are: — Oriental and Western 
Siberia; a Narrative of Seven Tears' Exploration and Adventures (1847 — 
1853(?)no dates are given in the book), in Siberia, Mongolia, the Kirghis 
Steppes, Chinese Tartary, and part of Central Asia. London, 1859. And 
Travels in the Regions of the Upper and Lower Amoor, and the Russian 
Acquisitions on the confines of India and China, with adventures among the 
mountain Kirghis and Man jours (Manchu ?), Manyargs, Toungouz (Tungu- 
sians), Touzemtz (see Appendix) Goldi and Gelayaks (Gilyaks), the hunting 
and pastoral tribes. London, I860. 

c See our illustrations, Nos. 7, 8, 20, 25, 29, 41, 54, and Plate 2, Beiton and 
Long-tor in the Appendix. 


The Channel of Tatary. — The land on both sides is high, and 
offers no striking land-marks to the navigator. The depth varies, 
and is often most considerable near the land, a circumstance rather 
dangerous to vessels going up and down Channel, as thick fogs occur 
frequently. Northerly winds and a clear sky are said to predomi- 
nate from August to April, and southerly winds and fogs from May 
to the end of July, but I found in September strong south-south-east 
or south-east winds, with a clear sky, and in August 1860 we had a 
fresh breeze from the south-west and west-south-west with thick fogs, 
and in the course of six or seven days the sky was clear for scarcely 
twelve hours in all. If the Channel were not free from shallows, 
many disasters must happen. The currents mainly depend upon 
the wind. 

Castries Bay, — It lies about thirty-five miles south of the 
entrance to the Gulf or Liman, and foreign vessels call here to take 
up a pilot. Large ships discharge their cargoes here, for vessels 
drawing more than twelve feet cannot enter the Amur. The bay is 
safe, but has two dangerous places. One is the sandbank Vostok 
in the middle of its entrance, having but three feet of water over 
it. Wooden staves with brooms have been erected in 1860 
on its north and south ends. Vessels can pass on either side of 
this bank, according to the direction of the wind, but generally they 
keep to the south. The second danger is a reef running out for the 
distance of a mile from Oyster Island. It also has been marked by 
staves. There are three islands in the bay — Oyster, Observatory 
and Basalt Islands. The best anchoring ground for large vessels is 
west, per compass, of Observatory Island, in fire fathoms. The 
bottom is mud, and the anchorage safe, but in autumn the ships are 
exposed to violent westerly winds, blowing down the ravines of the 
bay. Further in, the bottom is said to be strong, and not safe. 

The southern extremity of the bay is a good land-mark to vessels 
about to enter. Seal Rock lies at about four cables' length from 
the mainland; it very much resembles a lighthouse. Vessels 
cannot pass between it and the mainland. On the summit of the 
Klosterkamp Peninsula, a lighthouse is being built, and a light is 
expected to be exhibited here in the summer of 1861. Cape d'Assas 
is the most prominent point of the northern side of the bay. On the 
shore of the bay there are only five or six wooden houses, and this 
settlement is called, Alexandrovsk. A harbour master and about 
twenty soldiers live here. 


The navigation from Castries Bay to Cape Catharine, where the 
Gulf or Liman of the Amur commences, presents no difficulties, and 
full reliance may be placed upon the lead. Only two navigable 
channels lead through the Liman, the eastern to the sea of Okhotsk 
and the western between Capes Catharine and Pronge to the mouth 
of the Amur. The latter is about sixty-five miles long. It is 
frequently very narrow, and many places are altogether impassable 
for ships drawing more than twelve feet of water. Buoys were laid 
down in 1860 to mark the dangerous places between Capes Catharine 
and Jaore. The beacon-buoys with flags, indicated on the map, 
can be passed on either side. Between Capes Jaore and Pronge, 
conspicuous beacons constructed of wood, have been erected on the 
shore, besides the floating buoys. 

The best anchoring places along this Channel are, about five 
miles north of Cape Catharine; near Cape Lazaref ; near the 
Chagmut Island ; north of the Khazelif or Seven Islands ; and 
near Cape Pronge. 

The lead is not to be implicitly trusted, for the depth of the water 
varies suddenly, and often differs considerably from starboard to 

Between Cape Pronge and Nikolayevsk, a distance of twenty- six 
miles, there is one very difficult place, marked also with buoys and 
beacons. The anchorage opposite the town is safe. 

The winds during spring and as late as August are southerly ; 
from August to the end of October they are north-west. Navigation 
is interrupted as early as the beginning of November, but the ice 
does not become fixed before January or February, owing to the 
strength of the current at that season of the year, and it does not 
break up before the end of May or beginning of June. The dis- 
ruption is accompanied generally with a violent thunderstorm and 
rain. The cold during 1859 and 1860 was as much as 30° R., 
and the ice was six or seven feet thick. The snow in most places 
was from twelve to fourteen feet deep. The breaking up of the ice 
is not dangerous, for it is mostly sunk by the large quantities of 
snow lying upon it. The tide is inconsiderable, being only from 
one and a half to two feet at Nikolayevsk, and is much influenced 
by the direction of the wind. 

Help and supplies are not easily procured at Nikolayevsk. 
Everything must be obtained from government, who are fully 


occupied with their own ships. In case of the most ordinary acci- 
dent, — such as damage to a keel, loss of sails, ropes or rudder. — 
the vessel can undergo no repairs, or if at all, at immense loss and 
trouble. Even provisions are wanting still. The river is rich in 
fish ; and the forests surrounding the town contain plenty of timber 
of first-rate quality, but no one is permitted to fell wood there for 

London, October, 1860. 



Page 73. The Russian Clerical Mission at Peking. According 
to late advices the Archimandrite Gury has been raised to the 
dignity of bishop. The connection of the Mission with the de- 
scendants of the ancient Albazinians is to be restored, and several 
of them are expected at Irkutsk, where they are to undergo a course 
of religious instruction, preparatory to their being re-admitted into 
the bosom of the Greek Orthodox church by baptism. 

Page 117, last line. Instead of Shilinsk, read Shilkinsk. 

Page 132, line 13 from top. Instead of Sybille, read Sibylle. 

Page 136. One melancholy event in connection with the war, 
and with which we were not acquainted at the time these pages 
passed through the press, has been communicated to us by a friend 
residing at Nikolayevsk in the following terms: — "It is unfor- 
tunately true that about 400 infantry were sent at the close of 1855 
from Castries Bay to Eiakhta, of whom eleven only attained the end 
of their journey. With an insufficient supply of provisions, these 
miserable men, late in the season, left Castries Bay to ascend the 
Amur in barges. At that time the banks of the river had not been 
colonised, and when winter overtook the party some 1200 versts 
below Shilkinsk, they died from hunger, exposure to the cold and 
exhaustion. The eleven survivors subsisted upon the flesh of their 
fallen comrades. Government hushed up the affair, and those 
responsible for the disaster, at whose head is Major-General Busse, 
who neglected to supply the battalion with suitable provisions, 
though ordered to do so, went without punishment. The surviving 
soldiers were sent away, and a Junker (ensign) amongst them was 
silenced by being promoted. Some years subsequently, the affair 

o G 


became known. It is true in its most revolting details." Major- 
General Busse has been promoted Governor of the Amur pro- 
vince ! 

Page 141, line 13 from bottom. The vessels despatched in 1857 
to the Amur, were the "Askold" frigate, the screw corvettes 
"Novick," "Voyevod" and "Boyarin;" and the screw gunboats 
« Jigit," "Plastun" and " Strelok." 

Page 146, line 18 from top. Instead of Griden 14, Rinda 10, 
and other vessels, read Griden 14, Rinda 10, and Oprichnik 2. 

Page 148. The Ukase respecting the free exploration of 
mineral treasures is to take force in 1865, as far as the banks of 
the Amur are concerned; but along the coast they may be explored 
at once, on condition of the workmen and provisions being brought 
from beyond sea. 

Page 148, line 13 from bottom. The object of Count Muraviefs 
journey to Japan was to bring about a cession of the southern 
portion of Sakhalin. In this he did not succeed. 

Page 150, line 13 from bottom. Instead of Bries, read Yries. 
The Government has made a grant of land to Captain Yries, but 
German colonists from San Francisco have not arrived yet. They 
could only be induced to go there by large privileges being conceded 
to them. 

Page 152. In accordance with Article 3, of the Treaty of 
Peking, Admiral Eazakevick came to Khabarovka on the 16th May. 
1861, in expectation of finding there the Chinese Boundary Com- 
missioners. They had not however arrived, but let the Admiral 
know that they would meet him in June, at the Kingka Lake, 
Eazakevich accordingly proceeded there, on the steamer " Mechanic* 1 ' 
accompanied by Colonel Budogorsky and forty-five Cossacks. On 
the 30th, he met the Chinese Commissioners,— the maps of the 
country were compared, the boundaries laid down upon them, and 
certified copies exchanged on the 10th July. A London morning 
paper speaks of this arrangement as a fresh cession of territory to 


Russia; whilst in reality it merely ' carries^o*^^^ articles of 

the Treaty of Peking. 

Page 189. The number of stations between the Usuri and 
Sofyevsk has lately been increased to thirty, distinguished by con- 
secutive numbers. 

Page 199. The present population of Nikolayevsk is estimated 
at 4,000; the increase being due mainly to the arrival of 1,000 
convicts in 1859. 

Page 200. Recent researches show that volcanic rocks do not 
exist on the Lower Amur. 

Page 225. The batteries at Castries Bay were dismantled in 

Page 227. The names of some of the bays along the coast of 
Manchuria have lately been changed by the Russians. Bullock 
Bay they call Jigit Bay; Sybille, Plastun Bay; Shelter Bay, 
Oprichnik Bay; Hornet Bay, America Bay; Napoleon Gulf, Usuri 
Bay; Gulrin Gulf, Amur Bay. The Channel of Tatary is called 
Nevilskoi Channel 1 

Page 231, line 5 from top. Instead of Nakhimof, read Nakhodka. 

Page 232. The Russian station Novgorod, we believe, is situated 
in Posyet Bay. 

Page 234. The whole course of the Usuri, and the shores of 
Kinka Lake, are now occupied by Cossack stations. 

Page 280. Climate on the Usuri. — Mr. Maximowicz has made 
some meteorological observations on the Upper Usuri, at Busseva, 
six miles below the Sungachan, of which the following is a resutn/:— 
*The minimum thermometer indicated, on the 23rd March, —6° F. 
In the sun it thawed, however, from the middle of March, and the 
snow disappeared in many parts; but only on the 20th of that 
month did the minimum thermometer rise above freezing point in 
the shade. During the night severe frosts occurred until the 12th 
of April. The river opened on the 15th April, and the last frost 
observed during the night, occurred on the 9th May. On the other 
hand, the temperature at noon was occasionally very high. On the 

go 2 



30th March, for instance, 56° F., on the fcfcth April, 74°, and on 
the 13th May, above 80° in the shade. The last snow fell on the 
4th May, the first rain on the 28th April. 

At its mouth the Usuri became covered with ice on the 15th 
November, 1858, and opened on the 20th April, 1859. 

Page 286. Gold has also been discovered on the Modolane, a 
tributary of the Oldoi, Upper Amur; 3,600 pounds of sand yield 
66 grains of gold. 

Page 316. To the names of Mammals must be added, Felis 
minuta, Mustek flavigula, Bodd. and the Mole. 


The approximate latitude* and longitude* of all place* mentioned in the volume 
will be found in the Index. 

Abbreviations.— R., river ; Stiu, station ; Trib., tributary ; Vill., village. 

Abagaitu, 49)°N. 118°K 
Abuera,R^47°N.135°E. 242. 
Achani, a native tribe mentioned 

by Khabarof; the same as 

Poyarkof s Natki, and the Negda 

or Negedals of the present day? 

53°N. 137°E. 19. 
AchanskoiGorod. Position uncertain, 

but probably about 50°N. 137°E. 

Adams, Buss. AoacL, 68. 
Agaric, 311. 

Ai or Yai, R., 51J°N. 140^ 191. 
Aigun, Treaty of, 263. 
Aigun, Sakhalin-ula-hotun. The old 

town stood on the left bank 

of the Amur, 50i°N.127|°& 42, 

48, 176, 295. 
AilagirTunguzians, 41. 
Aimkan, tributary, of Gilui, 54°N. 

Aishin, Sushin or Niuchsen-Gin 

Dynasty, 6. 
Aishin Gioro, 7. 
AH Mangun vilL (51°N. 138°E.) 

AkuL, head-river of Imma, 46°N. 

136°& 246. 

Albaza,Daurian prince. His village 
was occupied m 1651 by the Cos- 
sacks, but again evacuated in 
1658. In 1662,Chernigovsky built 
upon the site Albazin, 18. 

AlbazinsTaksa of the Chinese, 
53J°N. 124i°E. 18, 24, 27, 36. 
Chernigovsky there, 38. First 
Siege, 46. Abandoned, 64. 
Geogr, 167, 277. 

Albaziniana at Peking, 73, 448. 

Albazikha, Emur or Emuri, rivulet, 
opposite Albazin, 168. 

Albert Peninsula, 43J°N. 1321E. 

Alexandrovsk, 51i°N. 141°E. 116, 

Aldan, river, 58°N. 130°E. 9,23. 
Alder=Alnua incana, 306, 
Alnaster frutioosus, syn. Alnobe- 

tula frutioosa, 306. 
Amazar, Great, or Lower Gorbitsa, 

53i°N. 122i°E. 166. 
Amba Sakhalin, vilL 50fN.1271°K 

Amcho, vilL, 49°N. 1361°E. 186. 

Amgun river, corrupted into Eha- 
mun, 53°N. 138°E. 46, 193, 203. 

Amgun mountains, 52|°N. 140°K 



Amumish, Numisha, trib. of Dzeya, 

54fN. 128°E. 41. 
Amur Province, 74, 145. 

Company, 146, 168, 421. 

Anadir, Goelette, 127. 
Andrushkina, vill, 53°N. 126|°R 

Angan, rivulet, 62i°N. 126£°E. 170. 
AnivaBay,46i°N,143°K 113>117, 

200, 284. 
Antelope, 322. 

d'Anville, Gulf, 42|N. 130|° E. 232. 
Aom, trib. Usuri,47iN. 136°E. 241. 
Apaokhin, 6. 
Apple trees, 298, 30& 
Arbod, mount, see Castries Bay, 225. 
Argun, river, 50°N. 119°E. 27, 62, 

161, 163. 
ArgunskoiOstr6g,61| o N.120°R 64. 
Arsenic, 286. 
Arshinski, Daniel, 37. 
Ash=Fraxinus Manchurica, 303. 

Asheho, a town believed to be iden- 
tical with Alchuka. Such does 
not however appear to be the 
case, as Asheho is mentioned as 
"a newljr-founded town," whilst 
Alchuka is found already on the 
Jesuit maps. Its approximate 
position is 45°N. 128°E. I 78. 

Aspen=Populus tremula, 304. 
d'ABsas, Cape, ue Castries Bay. 
Asses, 319. 
Atkinson, W. Th., 445. 

Atychan Ehrebet or mount, 55} H. 

125|°K 215. 
Avvakum, 139. 

Ayan, town, 56°N. 139°E. 129,134. 
brig, captured, 128. 


Badger, 322. 

Bagatirief, Lieut., 56. 

Baldachin, native vill, five days 

above mouth of Dzeya, 12. 
BalkashLake, 53°N. 108°£. 152. 
Banbulai, Daur. prince. His village, 

52°N. 126i°E. 16, 22. 
Barnaul, town, 53°N. 83J°K 27& 
Barracouta Bay, Port Imperial, Haji 

Bay, 49i°N. 140i°K 116,126. 

Barr,Mr. 197. 

Bashnak, Lieut., now Gapt., 116> 433. 

Bear, 320^ 380, 395. 

Beiton* (Afanaei), 47, 49, 60, 52, 64. 

Beketof, 32, 34 

Belen-ho or Tur, river, tributary of 

Eingka Lake, 151. 
Bernizet Peak or Mount Spenberg, 

47 JN. 142JE. 267. 
Biankina,town, 52°N. 116f°E. 
Bibikof; Lieut, now Capt, 118. 
Cape, Longtor or Daoshe- 

khada, 51*°N. 126f E. {See also 

Longtor.) 171. 
Bieluga= Accipenser huso, 334. 
Bijan, river, 48°N. 132*°E. 286. 
Bikin, trib, Usuri, 47°N. 135°E. 243. 

* Mr. Atkinson (Travels on the Ampor, pp. 421 and 487). states that Beiton was 
an Englishman, whose real name was Beaton or Beatson. But though Mr. Atkinson 
affirms this upon the u very best authority " we cannot subscribe to his supposition. 
The old Russian documents tell us that Beiton was a Prussian or German nobleman In 
the service of Poland, who was taken prisoner, and exiled to Siberia. Auy one at all 
acquainted with the Russian method of transcribing foreign names, must feel con- 
vinced that Beiton resembles the sound of the German name Benthen much more 
nearly than that of Beaton. The latter, in fact, would be written Btion in Russian. 
There are several villages named Beuthen, and the younger son of one of the possessors 
of the barony of Beuthen in Silesia used to write his name Peitum. In Polish the 
name of that place is Bithom. Another Beuthen in Silesia is called Biton by the 
Poles. We believe, therefore, that unless proofs superseding the old Russian docu- 
ments are produced, the assertion that Beiton was a Devonshire man must fall to the 



Birches. Betula alba, white birch 
— Betula frutioosa, shrubby 
birch— Betula daurica, Paurian 
birch — Betula costata, ribbed 
birch, 305, 306. 

Bird-cherrys=Prunus Padua, 298. 

Birars,a tribe, 30°N.13(PE. 841,342. 

Blagovesh'chensk, 60JN. 137fE. 
143, 174, 279. 

Bobac, 322, 365. 

Bogdanovioh, Buss. Aoadem., 68. 

Bogorodskoi, vik, 52J°N. 140i°E. 
126, 192. 

Bokhai or Phuhai, empire, 5. 

Bokhi mounts., 50°N. 137°E. 187. 

Boland Lake, 49|N. 136|E. 187. 

Borboi Khan=Bogdoi. Corruption 
from Bokhai (?), a title applied 
to the Governor of Manchuria 
and Emperor of China. 11, 16. 

Boshnak, Lieut^now Capi, 166, 444. 
Boehniak island, 51f°N.140J°K 190. 

Boyarin, Russian title of nobility, 
equivalent to Lord or Baron. 

Boyar Zin, son of a Boyarin. 
Boyets, rock in the Ingoda, 152°N. 

113°E. 165. 
Bratskoi Ostrog, 56°N. 103°E. 34. 
Brianda, rivulet, 65°N. 127°E. 10, 

Bries, see Vries. 
Bruce, Admiral, 124> 127. 
De la Bruniere, 78, 306. 
Brusyamoi Kamen, 53J°N. 123J°E. 

Brylkin, Mr., 441. 
Buckthorn, Rhamnus daurica, 301. 
Bugodorsky, Colonel, 148, 442,449. 
Bullock Bay, 45°N. 136i°E. 227. 
Burdock, 310. 
Bureinsk, 50 jN. 132fE. 
Bureya, river,=Bystraya? 50°N. 

131°E. 43,177,203,205. 

Bureya mounts., frequently called 
Khingan, 50°N. 132°E. 19, 179, 
261, 279. 

Buri, vill, Usuri mouth, now Kha- 
barovka,48|°N.1351 E. 185 

Burling, Mr, 158. 

Burunda, river, 53i°N.125i°E. 169. 

or Tolbuzin,Buss.sta. 169. 

Burukan, 53°N. 136°K 203. 
Busse, Major-General, 117, 145, 448. 
Port in Aniva Bay, 266. 

Cangue, a Chinese mode of punish- 
ment consisting in wearing a 
heavy wooden collar. 

Capitan rock, in the Ingoda, 52°N. 
113°E. 165. 

Castries Bay, 61*°N. 141J°E. 126, 
129, 136, 144, 155, 191, 224, 281, 

Catharine, Cape, 52°N. 141i°E. 436. 

Cats, 319. 

Cattle, 319. 

Cembra Pine=Pinus Cembra, 17a 

Chado, vill, 46|°N. 130°K 263. 

Chagmut island, 52J°N. 141J°E. 

Changa Khan, a title of the Emperor 
of Sussia= White Lord, 55. 

Cha-she, village mentioned by de la 
Bruniere. Perhaps Khakhe, oppo- 
site Khungari mouth, 50°N. 111. 

Chechwiski Volok, 26. 
Chernigovsky, 38. 
Chetvert, measure of capacity, 

10=7-21 bushels. 
Chikachef, Capt, 139, 435. 
Chinskoi Volok, on the Lena, 28, 38. 
Chipin Ostrog, near Albaain, 24. 
Chirikof, 113. 
Chisholm, Lieut., 136. 
Chita, 52°N. 1131°E. 164*497. 
Chkharbakh,vilL,53°N.141°E. 273. 
Chlia,lake,53i°N.140i°E. 193. 
Chogal, lake, 52*°N. 14ff>E. 190. 
Chokondo, mount., 50°N. 108°E. 




Chotzial mounts., 50°N. 136*°E. 

Churinof, Buss. Sta., 51°N. 138°E. 

Coal, 178, 286. 
Collins, P. McD., 139, 442. 
Crillon, Cape, 46°N. 142°E. 
Cross Peaks, 51i°N. 140°E. 
Cork tree = Phellodendron Amu- 

rense, 301. 
Cyril or Kirile Cape, 50°N. 137°K 



Dabuka, Lake, 45°N. 133J°E. 237. 
Dabukyt, tributary of the Gilui, 

54i°N. 126°E. 210. 
Dalai Nor, lake, 49°N. 117°E. 163. 
Dariyitarof, Lieut., 443. 
Daurians,a native tribe, 48°N. 125°E. 

10, 11, 15, 173. 
Daraul, Daurian prince. His village 

stood about 52*N. 126|°E. 16, 17. 
Deception, Obman or Baikal Bay, 

53fN. 14£J°E. 269. 
Delangle Bay, 48°N. 142°E. 269. 
Delisle de la Croyere, Cape, 61°N. 

143|°E. 267. 
Dere, Deren, vill., 51i°N. 138f E. 
Deshnef, Buss. Sta, 47fN. 132 °E. 

Destitution Bay, 49f°K. 140}°E. 

Ditmar, Karl von, 438. 

Dobro, Buss. Sta, 47|°N. 131J°E. 

Dobikhan or Khue-bir, river, 45°N. 

134i°K 234,251,286. 
Dogs, 317. 
Dolonskoi Ostrog, 5li°N. 128J°E. 

41, 46. 
Dondon or Muohen& vilL, 49|°N. 

136$°E. 82, 18a 
Dosh'chanik, a barge. 
Dotzili-oforo, plateau near Usuri, 

about 46°N. 247. 
Dozi, Tung, chief, 11. 

Ducheri, tribe, about 4S°N. 132°E. 
19, 31, 54. 

Dui,vilL, 50|°N. 142J°R 156, 269, 

Duka or Dukika, tributary Amgun, 

53°N. 138°E. 43. 
Dukda, river, 53°N. 130^ 209. 
Dye stuffs, 313. 
Dyrki, vilL, 48°N. 133f E. 182. 
Dzeya (Zeya)= Je-uraekh of Yaku- 

tes, Ji-onikan of Tunguzians, Che- 

kira-ula of Manohu, 9, 173, 203, 

279, 210, 217, 407. 


Eichthal, L. von, 441. 
Ekaterin-Nikolskaya, Buss. Sta, 

48°N. 131°E. 161. 
Elizabeth, Cape, 54|°N.142f°E. 268. 
Elizevskaya, Buss. Sta, 51i°N. 

139|°E. 189. 
Elk, 323, 354. 
Elle-iao-tze, red-haired people, the 

Elliot, Commodore, 130, 136. 
Elms, 305. 

Emmero, vilL, 49|°N. 136}°E. 187. 
Equus Hemionis, is not found in 

the prairies of the Amur, but 

confined to the steppes of Central 

Ermine, 321. 
Esche, Otto, 443. 
Estaing Bay, 49°N. 142PE. 
Etu,vill,48°N. 134°E. 182. 
Eugenie Archipelago, 43°N. 132°E. 


Fafarof, Ivan, 54. 

Febvrier Despointes, Admiral, 124 
Fedorovsk, Sta, 61j°N. 141°E. J91. 
Feodorovskaya, Buss. Sta, 51|°N. 

139 3 °E. 189. 
Fin-fish, Balaenoptera longimaaa. 
Firs, Abies Sibirica, Siberian fir or 

pitch; Pinus sylvestris; Scotch 

pine or fir, 307. 



Fox, 321. 

Fournichon, Admiral, 124. 

Freiburg, Mr., 134. 

Freeman, 8. W. K., 434 

Frolof, Gavrilo, 43. 

Fudza, river, 44TN.135°E. 254. 

Fuhrmann, 433. 

Furruhelm, Capt., 139. 


Gamof, Capt., 442. 

Gantimur, 35. 

Gavrilo^ Lieut, 116. 

Geong Mountains, 187. 

Gerbillon, 57. 

Gersfeldt. The name of this travel" 
ler has been erroneously trans- 
cribed from the Russian asHerts- 
feld, a mistake partly accounted 
for by the Russian letter T repre- 
senting both our H and G., 1 1 8,438. 

Genquen, identical with old Aigun 1 

Gibson, Captain Sir R., 13a 

Lieut., 134. 

Gilbert or Awakum River, see Olga 

Gilui river, 55°N. 126°E., 10, 41, 209, 

Gilyaks, 13, 23, 270. 

Gin, dynasty, 6, 252. 

Ginseng, Jinseng, Panax G., 91, 253, 

Girin, 43f N. 126j°E. 4, 74, 261, 283. 

Gishigin, 60°N. 150°E. 145, 154. 


Glutton, 322. 

Gogul Kurga, trib. Upper Dzeya, 
55°N. 130*E. 12. 

Goguli, tribe, about Bureya mounts., 

Gold, 286, 452. 

Goldi, 84,92, 239,244,263., etc 

Golovachef, Cape, 53J°N. 142°E. 

Golovin, Fed. A* Count, 56, etc. 

Golovin, Peter Petro., Voivod of 
Yakutsk, 10. ♦ 

- Mission to China, 74. 

- Russ. Sta., 133J°K 48i°N. 

Golubko£ 439. 

Gonoma, Konam, river, 57°N. 130°!!. 


Gorbitza, Great, or Amazar, 53i°N. 
122J°E. 66, 113. 
Little, 53°N. 119°E. 66. 
Village, 53°N. 119°K 165. 

Gorin R., 51°N. 137°R 187, 203. 

Gorinskaya, 50|°N. 138°E. 189. 

Gorod, town. 

Goshkevich, 134. 

Grabo£ CoL, 66. 

Greta, brig, 134. 

Guerin, Admiral, 434. 

Gugudar, Daurian prince, his village, 

52J°N. 126°E. 17. 
Guilder, a florin, 1*. &d. 


Habersham, 134, 434. 

Hai-tsing-yu-kiang, 103. 

Haji Bay, see Imperial, Port 

Hamilton, Port, 84°N. 127J°E. 140. 

Hares, 322. 

Hawthorn, Crataegus sanguinea, 303. 

Hemp, 312. 

Heng-kong-ta, vilL, on Lower Amur, 

position not known, 111. 
Hermogenes, see Yermoghen. 
Hianphu, 6. 
Hieromonakh, a Russian priest 

bound to celibacy. 
Hill, 434. 
Hodseng, a tribe of Goldi at Usuri 

mouth, £67. 
Holtermann, Dr. 421. 
Horner, Cape, 54°N. 142*°E. 268. 
Horolag,KhorolagR.,48i°N. 134i°E. 

Horses, 318, 343. 

Hunchun, town, 42J°N. 130i°E. 
232, 253. 



Hunohon, river, at the town, 152. 
Huptu river, 44°N. 1S2°E. 161. 
Hurka, Khulkha or Mutwan, river, 

46°N. 130°E. 262. 
Hutong, vilL, on Lower Amur. M. 

Bruniere was murdered here, 106. 
Hutten-Czapsky, exact position not 

known, but supposed to be 52|°N. 


I. . 

Iarakhan heights, 53°N. 132°E. 209. 

Ides, E. L, 71. 

Ignatief, General, 142, 151. 

Ilkhuri Alin,49°N. 128°K 1 7a 

Ilikan, river, 54i°N. 127°K 216. 

Eimsk,5rN. 105°E. 26,35,38. 

Iluam-yu, a large fish. 

Imma, Niman or Ema, river, 46°N. 

137|°E. 245. 

Chinese post opposite its 

mouth, 101,246. 
Imperial, Port — Barraoouta Bay, 

49°N. 140J°E. 155,226. 
Ingoda, river, 51 i°N. 116°E. 35, 164. 
Inkan or Inkansk, 53°N. 132°E. 207. 
Inokentievsky, Buss. Sta^ 48°N. 

132°E. 179. 
Irgen Lake and Irgenskoi on its 

shore, 52°N. 112°E. 34,37. 
Irkutsk, 52^°N. 104J°R 276, 406. 
Irkutskoi, Buss. Colony, 52±°N. 

140i°E. 126. 
Iron, 286. 

Issyk-kul, lake, 43°N. 79°E. 152. 
Ivanof; 24. 
Izenei, 21. 

Jacoby, 443. 

Jaoha, Joada, vill., 48°N. 134i°E. 

Jaer river, 621°N. 135J°E. 205. 
Jai, village, now Sofyevsk, 61|°N. 

140°E. 144, 189. 
Jaltula,tributy.of Gilui, 65°N. 126°E. 


Jaorc, Gape, 52fN. 141«°E. 
Jare, vilL, 4»i°N. 136i°E. 187. 
Jepko, tributy. of Bureya, 51J°N. 

133]°E. 206. 
Jesuits, 76. 
Johnson, 444. 
Jones, 444. 
Jonquiere Bay, 61°N. 142*°E. 129, 

Kada, lake, 62°N. 1401°E. 189. 
Kaja, vill n 50|°N. 127|° E. Dseya 

Kailgan,41°N.114°E. 73,152. 
Kaluga, Aocipenser orientalis, 334. 
Kamara, Komar,Humar, river, 52°N. 

134°K 22. 
Kamarskoi, Ostrog, at mouth of 

Kamara,51J N. 126|°E. 25,29,33. 
Kamchatka, 144. 
Kanghi, 8, 39. 
Kandagan, there is a village "Kan- 

dagan" on Samokhvalof's map, 

49i°N. 129°E. 65. 
Kasatkina, Buss. Sta, 49°N. 1801°E. 

Kashenitz, 28. 
Kashgar, 40°N. 75°E. 152. 
Kazakevich, Admiral, 139, 145, 416, 
Promontory, 62°N. 

126J°E. 171. 


Kentei Khan, or Great Khingan, 

50°N. 110°E. 163. 
Kenka, eee Kingka. 
Kerak, tributary of the Ur, 53l°N. 

126°E. 211. 
Kerbeli, river, 51J°N. 132°R 207. 
Kerbi, river, 52i°N. 186°E. 205. 
Kerbeohi, near Shorna — the Great 

Gorbitsa, 63J°N. 122±°K 62. 
Kerlon, 49°N. 117°E. 161,163. 
Kerlon, of Amur,51°N. 127°K 172. 



Khabftrof, 14, 16,27. 
Khabarova, vilL, 50°N. 110°K aa 
Khabarovka, town, 48fN. 165 °E 

Khamykan, 52f °N. 135fE. On Ne- 

milen, 204. 
Khai-sri, district in Manchuria, 7. 

Khasehv or Seven Islands, 62}°N. 
141i°E. 423. 

Khankuli rivulet, 46fN. 134§°E. 

Khilok, river, 51°N. 108°E. 35. 

Khingan, Little, the Bureya mounts. 
— Great Khingan, the Kentei- 
Khan — Khingan mounts, in Man- 
churia, 50°N. 120°E. 259. 

Khinganskoi Piket, now Pashkof, 
49°N. 130fE. 138, 179. 

Khingka, see Kingka. 

Khoekhtsi mountains, 48J°N. 137°E. 
184, 236. 

Ehoioha village, 48°N. 134°E. 238. 

Khoil river, 51 J°N. 140J°E. 191. 

Khormoldin, 49fN. 128i°E. 427. 

Khoro or Kholo river, 48°N. 135°E. 

Khorolog or Horolog, 48 J°N. 134fE. 

Khrebet, mountains. 

Khula village, 49°N. 136J°K 186. 

Khungar or Khyddi river, 50°N. 
WS^E. 186. 

Khungari village, 48°N. 134±°E. 238. 

Kiakhta, 50J°N. 106*°E. 71, 144, 
153, 410. 

Kidans, 5. 

Kidzi Lake, 61fN. 1404°E. 189. 

Village, 51fN. 140J°E. 126,192 

Kile, a tribe on the Gorin, allied to 
the Goldi, also called Samagers. 

Kileng, according to Maack a tribe 
about the Gorin mouth, identical 
with the Kile or Samagers, 367, 

Kimai-Kim, 261. 

Kinneli, 48*°N. 134J°E. 182. 

Kingka lake, 45°N.133|°E. 231,249. 

King, John, 434. 

Kinneli, 41i°N.134i°E. 182. 

Kirile Cape, 50°N. 137°E. 187. 

Kirensk,58°K. 106°R 38. 

Klosterkanm Clostercamp Penin- 
sula, see Castries Bay. 

Kochetoi; 438. 

Kochulyu, tributary of Kerbeli, 
61^°N. 132|°E. 208. 

Kokorei, Daurian prince ; his village 

stood opposite the Dseya mouth, 

Kokhan, tributy. Gilui, 55°N. 126°E. 

Kolpa, 11. 
Komar, Kamara, Khamar, river, 

52°N. 135°E. 171. 
Komarsk, 6l4°N. 127°E. 138, 171. 

Konstantinof, RussJ3ta.,50°N. 128°E. 

Konstantinovsk, Port Imperial 

49J°X. 140J°E. 116,226. 

Konuni,tributy.Tugur,53J°N. 136°K 

Korchin, a district, 44° N. 124°E. 259. 
Korea, Kingdom, 42°K. 130°E. 6. 
Kornilo^ 113. 
Kornitzki, 5, 56. 
Korovin, 56. 

Korsakof; Major-General, 138, 141. 
Promontory,51f N. 126f°E. 



Post, 48J°N. 135J°E. 172, 

Koesogor8ki,5irN. 140i°E. 31,192. 
Krell, Capt, 445. 
Kruohina, vill. on Ingoda, 164. 
Krusenstern, 113. 

Kuang-cheng-tzay, in Mongolia, 
position not known to us; our 
inquiries at the office of the u Pro- 
pagation de la Foi" in Paris were 
unsuccessful. 98. 

Kuburkhan river, 45|°N. 135°E. 249. 
Kuduli river, 55°N. 126°E. 215. 
Kulja, town, 44°N. 82°E. 410. 
Kupriauof, Buss. Sta^ 491 °N. 129°E. 

i7«7 s 



Kurga river=Hurka f 32. 
Eurile Islands, extending between 

Teso and Kamchatka, 164. 
Kusnetzo^ Admiral, 126, 141. 
Kusunai, 48i°N. 142°E. 167, 269. 
Kutskoi Saltworks on the Lena, 

67°N. 106°E. 126,141. 
Kutomand or Sverbeefj Buss. Sta^ 

53J°N. 124°E. 167. 
Kvasinino, Buss. Sta^ 47}°N. 132°E. 

Ky river, 48|°N. 156°E. 23a 
Kyoekh-kaya mounts., 640°N.,130°E. 

Kyrma, Cape,48J°N. 134i°E. 184. 

Ladyshinsky, 68. 

Langusof, 71. 

Larch, Lariz daurica, 307. 

Lavkai, Daurian prinoe ; his village, 

63i°N. 122i°K 10, H 167. 
Lazaret Cape, 62}°N. 141 i°E. 201, 

Lentz, 436. 

Lesseps, Cape, 49f N. 140i°K 
Li, a Chinese, 8. 
Li, a Chinese mile=608 yards. 
Liao orKidans, 6. 
Lifule river, Tadukhu of Orochi, 

44J°N. 135f°E. 267. 
Liman or Gulf of the Amur, 63°N. 

141i°K 283,436. 
Limes, Tilia cordata et Manohurica, 


Iitvintzo^Rus8.Sta.,51i°N. 138fS. 

Lobanof Jtostorskoi, 26. 
Logino^ 66. 
Longtor,* a promontory opposite the 

Komar mouth, 172. 
Lotodin, 17. 
LSwenstern, Gape, 64°N. 143*°E. 

Lugof; Russ.Sta,48i°N. 136°E. 184 
Luhdorf, 443. 
Lynx, 320. 

Maack, Rich., 20, 438. 
Maackia, 302. 

Magiri Tunguzians, ontheDzeya, 41. 
Malaya Nadeahda,rock,53°N. 125J°E. 

Mamia Rinso, Japanese astronomer, 
was sent in 1808 on an expedition 
to Sakhalin and the Amur, in 
consequence of Russian encroach- 
ments upon that island and the 
Kuriles. His mans and reports 
are to be found in Siebold's 

Mamia Strait, discovered by Mamia, 

62°N.14H°E. 266. 
Manyargs, Manegers, Monyagers, 65, 

166, 170, 173, 218, etc. 
Manchu, 6, 18,21, 30, 17% 176, 248, 

Maples, Acer, 300. 
Marble, 286. 

* Atkinson states (p. 438), that « Beaton was here on the 12th March 1682, and it 
is probable that he remained some time in the fort which Khabaroff had built, stand- 
ing directly opposite this singular rocky mass. He may have thought that it re- 
sembled some of the rocky cliffs in his own land, designated by the word • Tor,' not 
uncommon in Derbyshire, and thus, as a remembrance of his native home he may have 
called it * Long-tor/ on account of its extent." Beaton or Beatson, as Mr. Atkinson 
writes Beiton's name, actually did stay for twelve days opposite Long-tor ( set p. 50), 
but no unbiassed person could conclude from this that it was he who named the pro- 
montory in question. Maack's work furnishes ample evidence that there is scarcely a 
locality on the Amur, without some native name. Besides, there are numbers of 
words in other European languages similar to "Tor," rock (torris, tour, tower, thnnn, 
torre, etc.), and " long " is equally universal (longue, lang, longa, etc.) But also 
among the Manyargs, the native tribe dwelling around this promontory, we find 
a word similar in sound, viz. " tori," which according to Maack's vocabulary means 
earth or land, and we consider it likely that •* tor " is identical with it. 



Maria, Gape, 54J°N. 1424°E. 268. 
Mariinsk, 51f N. 140)°E. 116, 126, 

157, 192, 281. 
Marten, 321. 
May, 444 
Mazimof, 34. 

Maximowicz, 120, 263, 435, 441/ 
Mergen, 49J°N. 124J E. 74,262. 
Meyer, 440. 
Meynier, Dr., 441. 
Middendorf, 69, 144, 203,434. 
Mikael Semenof or Mikhailo Seme- 

novskaya, Buss. Sta,48°N. 133°£. 

Mikhailof, Mikhailovskoi, New and 

Old, 52f°N 140|°E. 126, 192. 
Milovanof, 41, 39. 
Ming, 7. 
Mogami Toknai, a Japanese, visited 

Sakhalin in 1786, and repeatedly 

afterwards, and advanced to 52°N. 

on the west coast. 

Moho, 56. 

Mokoha rivulet, 53|°N. 127°E. 218. 

Monastir, site of Russian Convent, 

531°N. 124°E. 166. 
Mongalia river, 53i°N. 122°E. 213. 
Mongols, 7. 

MordvinofBay,46!°N. 143*°E. 269. 
Moscow, 26. 
Moskvitin, 9. 
Mosquitos, 81. 
Muchem Dondon, 49|°N. 136|°E. 

82, 103. 

Mukden, capital of Leaotong, 74. 
Mules, 319. 
Miiller, 68, 113. 
Mungu-Nongo or Chotziel mounts., 

50*N. 136fE. 187. 
Muravief, Count, 114, 117, 125, 139, 

142, 148, 434. 
Muravief; Russian settlement, Aniva 

Bay, 157, 266. 
Muren river, 45J°N. 134°E. 247. 
Musk-deer, 323. 
Musibo, landing place, north of 

Castries Bay, 51fN. 141°E. 191 

Myetlin, 113. 
Mylnikof, 45. 


Nadeshda Steamer, 169. 

Nadimmi, capital of Manchuria, 
position uncertain, 20. 

Nagiba, 22. 

Nagiba, Nagibovskaya, Buss. Sta., 
47fN. 1311°E. 182. 

Naikhe,viU.,491°N. 1364°R 186. 

Naize, vill., 46i°N. 134*°E. 24a 

Nakhodka harbour, 42J°N. 133l°R 

Nangtara river, enters Sea of Ok- 
hotsk, 23. 

Nara river, 53°N. 130°E. 207. 

Narantzum, Buss. Sta^51°N. 127°E. 

Natkani, tribe, 9. 

Natki, tribe, identical probably with 
the Natkani, the Negda of the 
present day, 13. 

Nemilen river, 53°N. 130°E. 204. 

Neludskoi Ostrog, opposite Ner- 
chinsk, 35, 

Nelly river, see Castries Bay. 

Nerchinsk, 52°N. 116i°E. 35, 55, 
276, 278, 414. 

Nerchinsk Zavod, 51i°N. 119J°R 
276, 278, 

Nettle, 312. 

Nevelsky, Capt., 116, 443. 

Bay, 47±°N. 142°E. 209. 

Ngagha, vill., 51°N. 136J°E. 
Nigidals or Negda, 53°N. 137°E. 204. 
Nikolayevsk, 53*°N. 140|°E. 116, 

126, 157, 197, 276, 281, 425. 
Nimakan, and Niman, rivers, 53°N. 

133°E. 206. 
Ninagir, tribe of Oronchons, 344. 
Ninguta, Niulgut* 44|°N. 149J°E. 

21, 262, 282. 
Nintu river, 45°N. 135°E. 253. 
Nishan river, 46i°N. 134i°E. 244. 
Nismenaya, Biiss.Stiu,5<H N.127fE. 




Nonni, Nonki, river, 48°N. 124°E. 

16, 162, 262. 
Nor river, 47°N. 134°E. 242, 426. 
Nordmann, 441. 

Novgorod, 424°N. 130*°E. 156. 
Novo Zeisk, see ZeiskoL 
Nurkhatsi, 7. 

Nyi Bay, 52°N. 143*°E. 273. 
Nyungya village, 48i°N. 134}°£. 


Oak, Quercus Mongolica, 303. 

Odoli, 43i°N. 128°E. 7. 

Ojal mountains, 50°N. 137°E. 187, 

Okhotsk, 59°N. 143°E. 9. 
Okelnichi=Official of olden times 

having the superintendence of 

boundaries and settlement of 

boundary disputes. 
Okolkof, 39. 
Oldoi, Oldekon, 53J°N. 123i°E. 166, 

211, 213. 
Olga Bay, 43f°N. 135J°E. 156,230, 

Olekma river, 60J°N. 121°E. 
Olekminsk, at mouth of Olekma, 27. 
Oldekon, see OldoL 
Olgamza, 17. 
Omutei, 18. 

Onon, 50°N. 115°K 164 
Onon of Amur, 52i°N. 1264°E. 170. 
Oou river, 48TN. lSOfK 179. 
Orlof, 116, 440. 

Orel Lake, 53i°N. 140J°E. 193. 
Orochons, Oronohons, tribe, 54°N. 

132°E. 166, 211, 213, etc. 
Orochi, tribe, 48°N. 138°E. 366. 
Oroki, or Orotskoe, tribe, 50°N. 

144°E. 399. 
Ostafeva, 41. 
Ostrog, a place within an enclosure 

of palisades. 
Otter, 321. 

Panova, village fifty vents above 
Albazin, at Oldekon mouth, 40. 

Panther, Felis Irbis, 320, 383. 

Panaa, Gape, 58J°N. 141J°E. Amur 
mouth, 200. 

Pargaohevsky, Mr., 443. 

Parker, Gapt, 124. 

Pashko^ Gov., 32, 35. 

Buss. Sta, 49°N. 131°£ 


Patience, Gulf o£ 49*°N. 143*°E. 

Peking, Russian Missions to, Ides 71,. 
Golovkin 68, Langusof 71, Golo- 
vin 72, PerovBky 73, Petrillovs- 
koi 22, Milovanof 39, Spafarik 40, 
Venukof and Fafarof 54, Logi- 
nof 56, Eorovin 56, Golovnin 113, 
Perovsky 73, Ignatief 143, 157. 

Perm, 58°N. 56°K 408. 


Perovsky, Oounc. of State, 73. 

Perurie^ Max, 9. 

Pereyra, Jesuit, 57. 

Pesh'churof, Oapt, 435. 

Peter the Great, Bay of; = Victoria 
Bay,42°N.132 a E. 153. 

Petrillovskoi, A. PL, 22. 

Petrof, Yushkof, 11. 

Petropavlovsk, 53°N. 159°E. 122, 


Petrovskaya, Buss. Sta^ 48i°N. 

134}°E. 184 
Petrovskoi, 116. 
Petrovsk or Petrovskoi Zavod in 

Transbaikal, 51°N. 110TE. 40SL 
Petun, 45J°N. 125°E. 74. 
Phuhai or Bokhai, empire, 5. 
Picea, see Pitch and Spruce. 
Pigs, 319. 

Hlavo, Piliuvo, 50*N. 142JE. 270. 
Pines. Pinus Cembra=Siberian or 

Gembra Pine, P. Manchurica= 

Manchu Pine or Cedar; P. sylves- 

tris=Scotch fir, 308. 
Pique Bay, 44|N. IS64E. 228. 
Pisina, Buss. Sta, 48°N. 131°E. 181. 



Pitch=Picea Ayanensis, 307. 
Pogobi, Cape, 52*N. 141i& 201. 
Pokrovskaya Sloboda, near Albazin, 

Polecat, 321. 
Pohkarpoyevskaya, Russian post, 

48J°N. 131°E. 181. 
Polivanof, 436. 
Polyaekof, 24. 
Pompeyevskaya, Boss. Sta^ 48JN. 

131°E. 181. 
Poplars, 305. 
Poplonslri, Capt, 116. 
Popo£ Lieut., 118. 
Potapof, 33, 36. 
Poyarko^ Vasilei, 10. 

Buss. post,49i°N. 128i°R 

Price, Admiral, 123. 
Prokopief, Nikita, 24. 
Promyshleniks, adventurers who go 

to Siberia to Reek their fortunes, 

but generally lead miserable lives 

as huntsmen. 
Pronge, Cape, 52|°N. 141* °K 436, 

Prunes, 302. 
Prtttz, Capt, 147,445. 
Pshangar, mount*, or Yakaz, 52°N. 

143°R 273. 
Pud=86106 English pounds. 
PulorPulo,viU.,524°N. 140$°E. 75, 

105, 193, 420. 
Pulyesa, village, above Sofyevsk, 424. 
Pushkin, Lieut, 134. 
Pushchin, 67. 

Pustoi Island, 51|N. 140*& 190.| 
Putiatin, Admiral, 1 16, 120, 131, 139, 



Baooon dog, 322. 

Badde, Buss. St*, 48|°N. 130i°E. 

Badde, Naturalist, 440. 
Raebsky, Lieut, 435. 

Bagusin8ky, Count Sava Vkdis- 

lavich, 68, 72. 
Bakovia Harbour, Kamchatka, 128. 
fiats, 323. 

Reindeer, 318, 339, 398. 
Rhododendron, 310. 
Bimsky-Eorsakof, Capt., 117, 444. 
Riuso, see Mamia. 
Roe, 322, 354, 356. 
Bomanof, Capt., 144, 441. 
Rosemary, wild = Ledum palustre. 
Boshkof; 440. 
Businof, 69. 
Bybenskoi, 56. 
Russo-American Company, 424. 

Sable, 321. 

Salmon-trout Bay, see Aniva Bay. 
R., see Castries Bay. 

Sakhalin-ula-hotun= Aigun. 

Sakhalin island, 75, 265, 343. 

Samalga river, 48°N. 1391°E. 239. 

Sansin, Uan-hala of Manchu, 46J°N. 
129|°E. 79,82,88,263,296. 

Sargu Lake, 49f°N. 137°E. 187. 

Savalakhin, 443. 

Savin, Lieut, 116. 

Schelling, Baron, 134. 

Schmidt, F, 441. 

Schrenck, L. v., 120, 268, 435. 

Schwarz, 424, 440. 

Seals, 323. 

Sedge-grass, Calamagrostis purpu- 
rea, 313. 

Selenginsk, 51°N. 107°E. 56, 414, 

Selimda = Silimji. 

Selimbrinskoi Ostrog, 52°N. 129°K 

Senotrussof, 43. 

Serkof, 69. 

Service-tree, Sorbus Auouparia, 299, 

Shakhmati,Bus8 Sta^ 51|°N. 139°E. 



Shaman, a Tunguzian word meaning 
exorciser of spirits, 364, 384, 392. 

Sham-mao-tze = Long-haired people 
(the Manguns ?). 

ShaD-alin= white mountains, 43°N. 

128°E. 4, 259. 
Shelekhof, Rubs. Sta^ 51°N. 138J°K 
Shelesin, 67. 

Shelter Bay, 44|°N, 136°E. 229. 
Shemelin, 114. 
Shenurin, 435. 
Shetilof, 6a 

Shelgenei, Daurian prince, 18. 
Shilka river, 52°N. 117°E. 8,9,33, 

Shilkinskoi,52i°N.118j°E. 165,406. 
Shivili river, 53*°N. 136°E. 209. 
Shobelzin, 68. 
Rubs. Sta, 49i°N. 129°E. 


Shologon, tribe of Oronchons, 344. 
Shorna, 53°N. 119°K 66. 

Ur or Urka, 53|°N. 1221°E. 

Shunchi, Emperor of China, 8, 17. 
Shygoey or Shevei, 5. 

Sibku, river and vilL, 47°N. 134°E. 

Sihote-alin, the Coast Range, 470°N. 

137°E. 232. 
Silimja, Silimda or Selimba, river, 

52°N. 130°K 208,219. 
Silver, 286. 

Silvi, vill., 48°N. 133°E. 377. 
Sim, river, 48°N. 135*E. 239. 
Simoniof, 26, 32, 36. 

Sin boyarskoi= son of a boyar or 

Sinyavin, 56. 

Sira-muren, river, 43°N. 123°E. 259. 

Siranusi, Japanese Settlement, 

46°N. 142°K 267. 
Sitka, brig, 127. 

Situkhu, little, river, d'Anville's 
Carma, 45*°N. 135°E. 256. 

Situkhu, Great, river, d'Anville's 
Kuzume, 45J°N. 135°E. 251. 

Siza,vilL,48i°N.135°E. 185. 

Skripitzin, Ivan, 164 

Skripizin, CoL Feder, 56. 

Sloboda, large vill., having one street 

Smalenberg, A. v, 56. 

Smerenkur, tribe of Gilyaks on 
Sakhalin, 389. 

Smir&gin, Lieut, 440. 

Sofyvesk, town, 51J°N. 140°R 144, 

Sokha, a primitive kind of plough 
used in Siberia, hook-plough. 

Sole river, 49°K 138°E. 186. 

Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum, 311. 

Soldatovo, settlement opposite Al- 
basrin, 53°N. 124J°E. 40. 

Solons, tribe, 357. 

Solovief, 428, 438. 

Sol Vuichegodsk, village in the go- 
vernment of Volagda, 14. 

Sondhagen, Lieut., 438. 

Sorok=40 skins. 

Song, river, 494°N. 128°E. 

Fpafarik, 40. 

Spaskaye, Russ. Sta^ 481°N. 138{°K 

Spruce, Fioea obovata. 

Squirrels, 322, 350. 

Stag, 322. 

Stanovoi mountains, including the 
Oiekma and Dzeya mts., 56, 202. 

Stepanof, 27, 33, 36. 

Russ. Sta, 48°N. 133J°E. 


Stirling, Admiral, 133. 
Stolnik=" Carver" to the Tsar, a 

dignity now extinct. 
Stretyinsk, 52J°N. 1 18°E. 144, 163, 

Stuiver, a Dutch coin, value about Id. 
Suohi, Cossack vilL, 51f°N. 140t°E. 


Suffren Bay, 47J°N. 139°E. 227. 
Sungachan river, 45°N. 134°E. 234. 



Sungari, Shingal, river, 46°N. 128°E. 

12, 22, 28, 32, 161, 182, 259. 
Sungarskoi Piket, 48°N. 133°E. 138. 
Subu, via, 47°N. 130J°E. 84, 264. 
Sverbeef, Capt., 118, 435. 

promontory, 49°N. 130f & 

Sybille Bay, 44°N. 136£°E. 228. 

TabaTabamatsi, river, 51f°N. 141°E. 

Tabakh Cape, 53°N. 141°E. 200. 

Tamara, a large fish, sturgeon. 

Tanda, 55°N. 125°E. 214. 

Targachins, tribe dwelling about 
Mergen, 50, 365. 

Tatar monuments, 53°N. 140°E. 191. 

Tatary, channel of, 50°N. 14l°E. 
283, 435. 

Tendi river, tributy. of Ur, 53fN. 
125*°E. 211. 

Tebakh, Cape, 53°N. 1 41 J E. 200. 

Ternai Bay, 454°N. 137i°E. 224. 

Thui-tsu, 7. 

Tiger, 320, 382. 

Tilley, Arthur, 444. 

Tobacco, 311. 

Tokose, 310. 

Tolbuzin, Larion, 37, 

Alexi, 46, 49, 52. 

Tolga, Daurian prince ; his village, 
601 °N. 127fE. 18. 

Tomi, river, 51i°N. 128i°K 221. 

Tomsk, 56i°N. 85°E. 9. 

Toro rivulet, 52f N. 120*°E. 170. 

Tousemtz, or rather Tuzemtz, the 
Itussian for Native. Maack de- 
scribes the Tuzemtz at the Sun- 
gari mouth; and Atkinson was 
thus led to suppose the name 
applied to some particular tribe. 
Tj-ansbaikal, the province beyond 

Lake Baikal, 404. 
Treaties, Nerchinsk 54, Kiakhta 72, 
Aigun 144, Tientsin 73, Peking 
151, 449. 
Tro Gilyaks, on Sakhalin, 389. 


Troitsk Monastery, on the Lena, 88. 
Tronson, 229, 434. 
Tsagayan, Cape, 52°N. 126 a °K 170. 
Tsichevskaya, Russ. Sta., 49fN. 

128°E 179. 
Tsifaku, river, 461°N. 134i°K 243. 
Tsitsikar, town, 47J°N. 123fE. 74. 
Tsurukhaitu, 50J°N. 119°E. 71, 163. 
Tsyan-chzu, district of Manchuria, 7. 
Tugur, river, 53.J°N. 136°E. 23,203. 
Tugursk, old Russian fort on the 

Tugur, 23. 
Tugir or Tungir, river, 55°N. 121°E. 

Tugirsk, old fort on Tugir, 14, 22, 28. 
Tukorindo glacier, 64°N. 127i°E. 

Tumen river, 43°N. 130°E. 152,232. 
Tunguzians, 4, 55, 339, etc. 
Tundra, a mossy and swampy tract, 

resting upon a frozen subsoil. 
Turczaninow, 64. 

Turme, vill.,48J°N. 135°E. 184,238. 
Turuncha, 18. 
Twan-moa-tze, people who shave 

the head. 
Tyan-min, Nurkhatzi or Tai-tzu, 8. 
Ty, Neva or Boronai. 
Tyk, vill., 51J°N. 141fE. 270, 425. 
Tymy, on Sakhalin, 51J°N. 143J°E. 


Mainland, 52J°N. 140°E. 

Tyr, vill., 53°N. 140°E. 154, 193. 


Uchalda, river, identical with the 

Ud, 9, 23. 
Uchur river, 58°N. 132°E. 10. 
Uchurva, 20. 

Ud river, 54°N. 125°E. 9, 62. 
Udinsk, 52°N. 107°E. 56, 414. 
Udskoi,54i°N.134i°E. 145. 
UdalorChogal Lake,52>°N. 139|°E. 

190, 193. 
Ukakyt, 53°N. 136°E 204. 




Ukhtr, Uktu, vilL, opposite Bogo- 

rodskoi, 52 5 °N. 140*°E. 105. 
Uksumi, vilL, 49°N., 136J°E. 286. 
Ula grass, 313. 
Uligari Tribe, 41. 
Ulu biri, Manohu Station, mouth of 

Oou, 48§°N. 130§°E. 179. 
Ulusu Modon, Manchu Sta., 51J°N. 

127°E. 172. 
Ulya river, 59°N. 142°E. 9, 13. 
Umaltin river, 51°N. 133°E. 206. 
Umlekan river, 52J°N. 127fE. 11, 

Unkovsky, Capt, 444. 
Ur; Shilova of old Cossacks, 54°N. 

125°E. 10, 211. 
Urga, town, 48°N. 106°E. 152. 
Urka^Uruchi, river, 53J°N. 122J°K 

10, 14, 24, 28. 
Uryupina, vill., 52j°N. 120°E. 164. 
Urup, island, 46J°N. 150°E. 1 16, 135. 
Ushakof, Col., 139. 
Usur and Usourdur, tributs. of the 

Silimji, 53°N. 131i°E. 209. 
Usuri, river, 47°N. 135°E. 89, 234, 

250, 280, 450. 
(Jsultzof, Lieut, 213, 440. 
Ust, mouth. 
Ust Dukikanskoi, 53°N. 138°E. 43, 

Ust Kut or Ust Kutskoi Saltworks, 

57°N.106°E. 28,38. 
Ust Strelka, 53J°N. 121|°E. 163, 166, 

Ust Zeisk, 50J°N. 127fE. 138, 222, 
Uvarof, 23. 

Vaganof, 114, 434. 

Vanda, mounts., 49J°N. 134°K 186. 

Vasilief, 69. 

Vazilief; 24. 

Venault, 100. 

Veniukof, 100, 441. 

Venukof (Nikifor). 

Verkhne Udinsk, Old Udinsk, 52°N. 

107°E. M14. 
Verolles, 78. 

Victoria Bay, 43°N. 132°E. 231.. 
Vitim river, 54°N. 116°E. 10. 
Vladimir Bay, 43*°N. 135{°E 140, 

229, 284. 
Vladivostok, Port May, 43*°N. 

132°E. 156,231. 
Vlassof, Ivan, 49, 58. 
Ivan Zin, 56. 

Voiko$ Fedor, D., 41. 
Andrei, 43. 

Voiloohnikof, 46. 


Voken river, 46i°tf. 130°K 242. 

Vongo river, 45°N. 134i°E. 234* 25a 

Vorovskaya Pad, vilL on Ingoda, 

51j°N. 115°E. 165. 
Voskresenskaya, Buss. Sta^ 48°N. 

133°E. 182. 

Vosnesenskaya, Buss. Sta., 48J°N. 

133i°E. 184. 
Vries, Capt, 150. 


Walnut, Juglans Manchurica, 302. 
Wanda or Uandy Cape, 51J°N. 

142°R 269. 
Weasel, 321. 

Wei-tze-keu, vill. ten leagues East 
of Sansin, 101. 

Werkholinsk, 55N°. 105°E. 27. 
Weyrioh, Dr., 43a 

White Whale, Delphinapterus Len- 

cas, 313. 
Whittingham, 434. 
Wilder, 434. 
Willows, 304. 
Wolf, 321. 
Woodsia ilvensis, rock woodsia, 310. 


Yablonoi Rhrebet, Apple moun- 
tains, 58°N. 11 5°E. 163. 




Yakutes, tribe of Siberia, 204, 208. 

Yakutsk, 62°N. 130°E. 9, 14> 16, 22, 
24, 31, 40. 

Yang-koan, vill. Leaotong pro- 
vince, 98. - 

Yashnoi Simovie, Winter-habitation 
where the tribute is collected. 

Yassak, tribute in furs. 

Yekaterino Nikolskoi, Buss. Sta., 
48°N. 131°R 262. 

Yeniseisk, 58°N. 97°E. 9. 

Yerebtzof, Russ. Sta., 51°N. 138J E. 

Yermoghen, Hermogenes, 38, 47. 

Yeshen, district of Manchuria, 7. 

Yew, Taxus baccata, 307. 

Yome Lake. 

Yupitatze, Fish-skin people (the 

Yuen, dynasty, 7. 

Zavod, manufactory, smelting works. 
Zeiskoi Ostrog, 64°N. 1274°E. 41, 

Zeya, see Dzeya. 
Zorok, forty skins. 
Zorokin, 27, 36. 
Zimovie, wintering-place. 





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16s. Best fail morocco, same pattern, price 24s.; or, neatly half-bound morocco, 
gilt top, uncut edges, Roxburgh style, price 18s. 

•'The translation of Mr. Arnold has been 
held more truly to represent the spirit of 
Goethe's great poem than any other version 
of the legend. 

" There js no novelty, except to purchasers 
of Christmas books, in Kaulbacb?s admira- 
ble illustrations of the world-famous ' Rey- 
nard the Fox.' Among all the English trans- 
lations Mr. T. J. Arnold holds at least his 
own, and we do not know that this edition, 
published by Triibner, with the Kaulbach 
engravings, reduced and faithfully rendered 
on wood, does not stand in the very first rank 
of the series we are commenting upon. Mr. 
Harrison Weir is a good artist, but in true 
comic power he is far inferior to Kaulbach. 
We do not see how this volume can, in its 
way, be excelled."— Saturday Review. 

M Goethe's ' Reinecke Fuchs' is a marvel of 
genius and poetic art. * Reynard the Fox ' is 
more blessed than Alexander ; his story has 
been written by one of the greatest of the 

human race, and another of inimitable genius 
has added to the poet's narrative the aux- 
iliary light of the painter's skill. Perhaps no 
artist— not even our own Landseer, nor the 
French Gavarni— ever exceeded Kaulbach in 
the art of infusing a human expression into 
the countenances and attributes of brutes; 
and this marvellous skill he has exerted in 
the highest degree in the illustrations to the 
book before us.**— Illustrated AYwi of the 

"The illustrations are unrivalled for their 
humour and mastery of depression and de- 
tail"— Economist. 

"Of all the numerous Christmas works 
which have been lately published, this is 
likely to be the most acceptable, not only as 
regards the binding, the print, and the paper, 
which are excellent, but also because it is 
illustrated with Kaulbach's celebrated de- 
signs."— Cbur* Journal. 

The Travels and Surprising Adventures of 
Baron Munchausen. 

With Thirty original Illustrations (Ten fall-page coloured plates and twenty wood- 
cuts). By Alfred C&owqtjill. Crown 8vo. ornamental cover, richly gilt front 

and back, 7s. 6d. 

"The travels of Baron Munchausen are 
perhaps the most astonishing storehouse of 
deception and extravagance ever put toge- 
ther. . Their fame is undying, and their in- 
terest continuous ; and no matter where we 
find the Baron — on the back of an eagle in 
the Arctic Circle, or distributing fudge to the 
civilized inhabitants of Africa— he is ever 
amusing, fresh and new.'* 

" A most delightful book Very few 

know the name of the author. It was writ- 
ten by a German iu England, during the hat 
century, and published in the English lan- 
guage. His name was Rudolph Erich Kaspe. 
We shall not soon look upon nis like again." 
—Boston 1'ott. 


The Marvellous Adventures and Rare Conceits of Master 
Tyll Owlglass. 

Edited, with an Introduction, and a Critical and Bibliographical Appendix, by 
Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, F.S.A., with six coloured full-page Illustrations, and 
twenty-six Woodcuts, from original designs bv Alfred Crowquill. Price 
10s. 6d., bound in embossed cloth, richly gUt, with appropriate design; or neatly 
half-bound morocco, gilt top, uncut, Roxburgh style. 

' ' Tyll's fame has gone abroad into all lands ; 
this, the narrative of his exploits, has been 
published in innumerable editions, eveu with 
all manner of learned glosses, and translated 
into Latin, English, French, Dutch, Polish, 
etc We may say that to few mortals has it 
been granted to earn such a place in univer- 
sal history as Tyll ; for now, after five centu- 
ries, when Wallace'* birthplace is unknown 
even to the Scots, and the Admirable Crichton 
still more rapidly is grown a shadow, and 
Edward Longshanks sleeps unregarded save 
by a few antiquarian English,— Tyll's native 
village is pointed out with pride to the tra- 
veller, and his tombstone, with a sculptured 
Sun on his name — namely, an Owl and a 
lass, still stands, or pretends to stand, at 
Mollen, near LUbeck, where, since 1350, his 
once nimble bones have beeu at rest." — Thy- 
mus CarlyU't Bssayt, II., pp. 287, 288. 

* A book for the antiquary, for the satirist, 
and the historian of satire ; for the boy who 
reads for adventure's sake ; for the grown 
person, loving every fiction that has a charac- 
ter In it Mr. Mackonrie's language is 

quaint, racy, and antique, without a tiresome 
stiflhoss. The book, as it stands, is a w.l- 
como piece of English reading, with hardly a 
dry or tasteless morsel in it. We fancy that 
few Christmas books will be put forth more 
peculiar and characteristic than this comely 
English version of the ' Advouturos of Tya 
Owlglass."— ^Aeftarum. 

44 A volume of rare beauty, finely printed 
on tinted paper, and profusely adorned with 
chromolithographs and woodcuts in Alfred 
Crowquill's best manner. Wonderful baa 

been the popularity of Tyll Euleuapiegel . , 
surpassing even that of the ' Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress.' "— Spectator. 



313, CIRCUS 


Harvard College Widener Library 
Cambridge, MA 021 38 (61 7) 495-241 3